Fleeing the Fuzzy Earmuffs

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — Clubbing in Uruguay seemed reminiscent of a sweaty, high-school basement rave.

I strolled in with my group and encountered other clusters of ragers, not sure if I’d know anyone or if the stereotypical cliques would want to know me. Leather-jacket goth types generally populated the bar, while trendsters rocked their flannel and high tops on the floor.

As I timidly walked downstairs one night to the dance floor of Living, a cozy spot on the posher side of Montevideo, I began taking note of the club’s occupants.

A skeletal little strumpet emerged from the bathroom, her nose freshly powdered. I looked around for something to toss her—a sandwich, croissant, jar of mayonnaise, anything really—but she stormed past me onto the floor and proceeded to pin another female against a gargantuan speaker.

They began making out. Standard.

Nevertheless, a tiara-donning girl interrupted my view, throwing handfuls of confetti at my wandering face. Some of it went up my nose. That’ll be there awhile. Apparently she just graduated from high school. Huzzah. We stole a piece of the sheet cake her parents were casually guarding, guiltily offering a weak “congratulations.”

A miasma of fermenting B.O. hit my nostrils.

Heads turned toward a dirty vagabond with a floppy mohawk. He plopped an equally dirty duffel on the dance floor; it was unclear whether this obstruction or his smell disrupted the place’s flow more. His pants didn’t reach high enough to fully cover personal parts, though a fuzzy pair of earmuffs adequately kept overexposure to a moderate low.

Quickly dubbed “Creeper” by the partying English-speakers, this loathsome creature would sneak up behind random individuals, laughing through a sinister grin. We tried dancing around in circles to avoid him. It was mildly successful.

Then the fuzzy earmuffs grazed my hand.

Creeper had crossed the line. Well, my line at least. Everyone else didn’t seem to mind the sad little guy. I wondered aloud why no one had kicked his ass yet, or at the very least removed him. A few Uruguayos relayed his story. Creeper was on horse tranquilizers. But given his parents’ social status (famous psychiatrists…connection?), he and his bag were always welcome at Montevideo establishments.

That’s the problem with being a visitor, a tourist essentially. Observe all you want, but you might never understand. The fuzzy earmuffs are here to stay—but you’re not.


D. Patrick Knoth ’11, a Crimson associate magazine editor, is a history and literature concentrator in Dunster House.