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The Funk

In the "Cult of Escapism": The Funk

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Funk

I smell bad. Nobody says anything but I smell unbelievably, unendingly, unconstitutionally awful. I have a few anti-smell factors in my favor, but mostly I’m faced with the perfect storm of stink. Let’s break it down:
First, I’ve been in Panama for 11 months (11 months!) and I’m still not totally used to the heat. I’m probably better adjusted than before, but ultimately I’m a hairy white guy of Latvian-British-Irish descent so Panama’s probably not the best place for this body. Also, I spend most of everyday walking somewhere, including up hills, mountains, and the sides of active, lava-spurting volcanoes. So I sweat a lot.
Moldy pants
Second, the rainy season is in, scientifically speaking, full Butt-Drenching mode, which means most of my clothes are perpetually wet and are all in some stage of molding. Wet clothes have their own special smell, which we volunteers call “The Funk.” At this point, my clothes are funkier than Tower of Power.
Third, to combat the sweaty funk, I apply Old Spice deodorant more liberally than a Miami beach bound Norwegian applies 80spf sun block. You ever site next to someone (usually someone fat and hairy, with labored breathing) on a bus or a plane who smells awful but tries to cover it up with strongly scented deodorant? You’ll notice this person effectively smells like sweet butt. That’s me. Beneath my layer of perfumed respectability, stink rays are blasting like Captain Picard during a Borg invasion.

Even my dry sack is molding

I do have a few advantages: A – I’m not fat; B – I don’t’ eat a lot of fatty, smell-producing foods. But I can hardly take credit – my metabolism reaches speeds that NASA can only dream about and I don’t eat fatty foods because they’re largely not available.
So I’m hairy but not fat, sweaty but covered in man-perfume, funky but not in an entertaining way, and I’m always damp. Which means I smell. As soon as someone passes out, I’ll know we’re at situation critical. For now, just refer to me as “The Funky Buttman.”


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