…from  Mike Marklew

In praise of women

I do like summer.

Don’t get me wrong. Heated seats on the trains in winter, cherry and plum blossom swirling about in spring and colorful temple crowds in September are also things I enjoy. But summer is the season I like best.

You see, I’m I “leg man” and hot weather unveils a vast smorgasbord of my “eye-food” to feast upon. Judging from last weekend in Harajuku and the way skirts are shrinking, by the time the 16-year-olds I saw get jobs, a mini skirt will be a one-inch wide belt—worn around the neck.

And three big banzai to all the bra-burning women’s libbers and the Japanese manufacturers who have designed this garment to move.

Coupled to a loose-fitting blouse, another enjoyable thing has come into my life. My long trudge up the hill to the office in the morning is immeasurably brightened by the occasional vision of a young OL (office lady) lolloping towards me. Not nearly so interesting when she’s swathed in a coat — even if the wrapping is mink.

I’m not very tall and my thatch is thin on top, therefore the crisp Yamanote line air conditioning strikes me colder than the average commuter. This is a discomfort I gladly endure, to observe the sleeveless, straphanging fairer sex.

When they step off the steaming platforms into the arctic atmosphere, they perk up in places, I haven’t even got places to perk up in.

Going back to legs: why are there so many black stockings in Japan? In many countries, black stockings during the day are a sign of hospital staff or ladies of doubtful morals, on their way to or from work.

Sure, stockings can disguise ugly veins, but when following a couple of high heeled, naked, suntanned pins, perambulating below a pair of oscillating short shorts, who cares?

A “friend” asked my wife if she objected to my face lighting up like a Ginza intersection at twi­light, whenever I spied a good-legged girl.

“If he stops looking and he’s not dead—I’ll start to worry,” she cheerily replied.