The Perils of Petunia Pap Smear

The Tale of Bouffant Jesus

The road to Brazil is fraught with danger and excitement.

The exciting conclusion to my choir tour to Rio de Janeiro.

The morning after my night of passionate horizontal mambo-ing with the buff Brazilian beach boy — which I told you about last month — a devastating typhoon hit Rio and shut everything down. The rain was falling sideways due to the 70 mph wind, and most of the choir members stayed holed up in the hotel. But I, being the ever intrepid adventurous queen, and still having my libido revved up from the previous night’s debauchery, didn’t want to waste a single moment of being the consummate tacky tourist. I threw caution to the wind, literally, and I struck out on my own, into gale-force winds, wading through 2-foot-deep water in the streets on a journey of adventure and tropical exploration.

Of course, my fabulous hair was the first casualty, as the wind snatched my best beehive wig from my head, it sailed away like a demented pink flamingo toward the large statue of Jesus that towers over the city. I maneuvered down the street by holding on to light post after light post, releasing my grip and letting the wind carry me to the next light post and grabbing on for dear life, wherein came the second casualty of my excursion. In grabbing the poles, I broke off the Lee Press On Nails of every finger. Now, I’m not only hairless, and my face is streaked with rain-streaked mascara, but I’m in desperate need of a manicure. To complete my wardrobe malfunctions, I lost one of my heels in the knee-deep water.

A lesser queen might have given up and returned to the safety and comfort of the hotel, but not me. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor dark of night, (nor even a hair-snatching, nail-breaking, mascara-ruining typhoon) can keep Petunia Pap-Smear from her appointed rounds. Not when beach boys or tacky souvenirs are at stake.

Determined to resume my search, I lurched onward and was stepping off a curb to cross another water-filled street, when my elbow was grabbed roughly from behind. I looked around and it was a little old lady holding tightly onto my arm and loudly scolding me in Portuguese as she wildly gesticulated with her other hand. For a moment I mistook her for Sophia Petrillo and I excitedly looked around for Blanche, Rose, and Dorothy. Reflexively, I told the woman “let go of my arm or it’s Shady Pines ma, Shady Pines!” Fortunately, a passerby who spoke English stopped and translated for me, correcting my mistake and bringing me back to reality. The woman was warning me that I should be careful walking in the water-filled streets because a storm like this can cause the manhole covers to blow off leaving deadly open holes into the sewer, into which hapless victims sometimes disappear to be discovered several days later washed out to sea. Duly chastened and looking like Cloris Leachman in the final demolition derby scene from The North Avenue Irregulars, I carefully returned, hobbling on one heel back to the hotel to ride out the rest of the storm.

By the next morning, the storm was over, and I ventured out onto Copacabana Beach, to survey the devastation. I came upon a deep pit dug in the sand, with blood scattered all over. In the bottom of the pit lay a wooden bowl, a dead and half-burned chicken, and a dagger, among other things. Apparently, during the storm, a voodoo priest performed a sacrifice ceremony to appease the weather gods. And apparently, it worked because it was a glorious morning.

To make the best of this magnificent day, we went on a sight-seeing tram ride to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain, which if you have ever seen it, resembles a big stone penis rising up out on the end of a peninsula. Later, while I was quietly marveling to myself about having ridden to the top of the largest penis in the world, (now remember people, I am a size queen) some friends and I were eating lunch and appreciating the passing Speedo-wearing scenery at a lovely sidewalk café.

Suddenly, a man holding a bag and a gun came running from around the corner of the building. A few seconds later two policemen with guns drawn came running after, yelling at the man. Oh how wonderful I thought, they are putting on a street show for the tourists just like they perform the shootout in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

I watched in amusement until they ran out of sight, then I turned back to eat my food. It was then I noticed that all of the other customers and waiters were lying flat on the ground. A woman who spoke English told us that the police had been yelling for everyone to get down. Come to find out, it was a real crime and the man had robbed an armored car about a block away. Thus, in a hail of gunfire, (okay nobody fired) ended my tour of Rio de Janeiro. I came home to Utah with many fond memories, and I can’t wait to return.

Like always these events leave us with many eternal questions:

  1. Would voodoo work to restore my hair and nails?
  2. If I was washed down a sewer drain, would that count as a burial at sea?
  3. How many spare wigs should a queen travel with?
  4. If my wig did end up on Jesus, would that earn me any treasures in heaven?
  5. Would Jesus look silly in my pink Beehive hairdo?
  6. Do they make Sugar Loaf Mountain-shaped dildos?
  7. For the morbidly curious, you can befriend me on Facebook.

These and other important questions to be answered in future chapters of The Perils of Petunia Pap-Smear.

Petunia Pap Smear

Petunia Pap Smear was born a boy in a Mormon family in a small Idaho town in the year of the cock. No, really, look it up. As is LDS tradition, at a month old her father blessed the little Petunia in the ward house on the first Sunday in June. The very next day, they tore the church house down. Probably for good reason. Little did parents Jack and Orthea know that their little boy would grow up to be a full-fledged, rainbow flag-waving, high heel-wearing, sheep-tending “Ida-Homo.” The Perils of Petunia Pap Smear follows her life from the sheep-tending Boy Scout of her youth to the full-figured and brash queen she is today. Her adventures in the many Queer-Tanic trips, the Salt Lake Men's Choir, the Matrons of Mayhem, and Utah Prides and Lagoon Days have been canonized the past 15 years in a monthly column in QSaltLake Magazine, Utah's publication for the LGBTQ+ community. These tales and her words of wisdom were corralled into a 355-page book that will become the Quint to the Mormon Quad. See it at

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