The road to camping in comfort is fraught with danger and excitement.
As Memorial Day passes and June busts out all over, let us discuss the all-American pastime of camping. I’m not talking about putting on my finest sequined frock and five inch heels, dressing up like Liza Minnelli and fan-kicking my way through a rousing rendition of “ New York, New York.” Faaabulous as that can be. No, I’m talking about dressing in DENIM AND LEATHER AND BOOTS, Oh My! and venturing into the wilderness (that is, no more than spitting distance from a paved highway) to encounter Lions and Tigers and Bears. OK, perhaps the lions and tigers are a stretch, but we usually encounter several Bears of the large, hairy, queenly variety. Delightfully, some of those bears also come in well-packed wranglers and pre-wrapped in leather straps complete with silver studs. Oh My!!!
As those of you who venture into the overcrowded national forests during the summer can attest, every Wednesday there is a re-enactment of the Oklahoma Land Rush as would-be campers in their SUVs stake their claims on camping spots for the approaching weekend. In order to secure a most pristine camping spot mid-week, it is necessary to just drive in and grab up some territory, just as Brigham Young did in 1847 when he laid claim on the Beehive House Estate and said, “This Is the Place for 27 of my wives!”
That being said, I am wont to recall a camping trip of days gone by with my fellow Logan Queens. In the pre-cell phone era, I thought it unwise to travel into the uncivilized wilds without an entourage. Therefore, I enlisted the services of a body guard/mechanic in the form of my butch lesbian friend, Pam. Relying on stereotypes, I was confidant that Pam could handle any situation we might encounter. So we loaded my 1975 Buick Electra land yacht, Queer-Tanic, with camping gear and set out. The Buick was full to bursting, because I need at least two large car loads of creature comforts and beauty aids to be able to sustain the Universe that is Petunia.
Upon arriving at the park, we selected a campsite private enough that unwitting “civilians” would not be able to view the Bears engaging in the venerable sport of “Naked Fire Jumping.” As we proceeded to establish our domain, we did battle with tent poles and ultimately erected a three room Tent-A-Minium that we dubbed the “Taj-Ma-Hut.” Lest any “claim jumpers” should try and invade our area, I thought about scent marking the camping site by peeing on all the bushes around the perimeter. But since I learned in Princess finishing school that we are more highly evolved than that, we alternately established the borders of our territory by decorating the path leading up to the tent with an assortment of rainbow flags and a protective phalanx of pink flamingo guards resembling the Avenue of the Sphinxes at Luxor.
Preparing to return to Logan for a second Buick load, we pulled Queer-Tanic away from the camping spot. And just as Titanic hit the infamous iceberg, Queer-Tanic hit a large rock, resulting in an earsplitting metallic screeching noise (just like Gayle Ruzicka’s voice) that could decalcify your spinal column. Upon investigation, we found that the muffler, tail pipe and catalytic converter had become dislodged from the engine and wrapped themselves completely around the axle, subsequently ripping the tire into pieces small enough to serve as drink coasters.
It’s occasions just like this when you’re glad you’ve brought along a lesbian. After all, lesbians are typically better than Triple A at handling this kind of stuff. I looked at Pam, expecting her to run into the nearest phone booth, emerge in a spandex lesbian superhero uniform complete with tool-belt, and immediately fix the car. She stared back at me with a “What the Fu#@ are you looking at” expression. In actuality, Pam’s butch-ness was limited to her vocabulary. She let fly a string of cuss words that would make any longshoreman blush like a school girl. Pam said, “I hope you can #$@%, mutha@#** fix that, because I ain’t climbing under your G#$@ D#*@ car.”
With Pam’s constant barrage of curse words running the soundtrack from a Jeff Stryker movie in the background, everything began moving as if in slow motion. I carefully removed my traveling tiara and lay on my back, quivering with anticipation as Queer-Tanic loomed seductively over me. Unblinkingly staring my Buick directly in the tail lights, I tenderly slid myself beneath her. I grabbed the tailpipe firmly with both hands, and resisting the habitual urge to throw my heels completely in the air, wrapped my feet around the axle for support and started to gently manipulate the pipe back and forth. How familiar and natural this all seemed. Hmmm! After about 20 minutes of increasing intensity and speed, the pipe violently burst forth, releasing the axle for the sweaty greasy “climax.”
With the axle freed, I was able to mount the spare tire and Queer-Tanic was back on the road again. As we drove back to Logan, Queer-Tanic’s unmuffled 455 cubic inch engine now sounded louder than a 747, moaning with satisfied delight while gentle puffs of post-coital exhaust smoke wafted behind us.
Like always these events leave us with many eternal questions:
1. Would scent marking the campsite with pee overexcite the Bears?
2. Do good manners dictate the use of drink coasters in the forest?
3. How high must the naked Bears jump over the fire to avoid burning the important parts?
4. Since Brigham Young had 27 wives, can I have 27 Bears?
5. Are pink flamingos effective in keeping away unwelcome “civilians?”
6. Did this count as “bottoming” for Queer-Tanic?
7. Will our babies be Hybrids?
8. How wide must I dilate to give birth to a baby Buick?
These and other important questions to be answered in future chapters of The Perils of Petunia Pap-Smear.