"The Yanks call this type of plane "Betty," an effeminatizing gesture that really irks him. Then again, the Yanks name even their own planes after women, and paint naked ladies on their sacred instruments of war! If they had samurai swords, Americans would probably decorate the blades of nail polish." (335) That screamed "UNDERWORLD" to me. The last part was particularly amusing. There's nothing wrong with painting on things with nail polish...I do that all the time...On a more serious note, though, I think it's interesting that the American men who painted women on planes considered it good luck, but the Japanese (or at least Stephenson's Yamamoto)thought it was effeminate and a stupid/disrespectful practice. Meanwhile, Japanese soldiers were raping women, sometimes in ways that would serve as a good luck charm and protect them in battle.
Clearly, Yamamoto cannot multitask the way Bobby Shaftoe can. I wasn't anticipating the head-on collision with the octomelis sumatrana at all. In my head, it kind of played out like a scene from a cartoon where the character crashes into something and sees stars and cuckooing birds or something.