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The Recruiting Videos for the Japanese Navy Have
Song-and-Dance Numbers

Maureen Thorson

Big neon signs light up Tokyo. Wide-eyed cartoons
where everyone has fabulous hair. Commercials and game

shows that are nearly a war. The song-and-dance routine
on the foc'sle. The Japanese have got all that. We've got

Yosemite Sam painted on the wardroom wall. And the tomcats
on our decks go home to wives with mall bangs and

100-pound rottweilers, or to the sports bar out by the beach,
next to Morale, Welfare & Rec, gleaming like a disco ball

in the coded beam of the lighthouse. But I don't think
they're dancing. Or singing. They ship out tomorrow and

well, someone's gotta be Japanese, yeah, but someone's
gotta fly the planes, too, and someone's gotta leave

these flyboys alone – they're just playing pool and
the soundtrack from Top Gun, over and over again.

Maureen Thorson

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