The Perils of Petunia Pap Smear

A Tale of Over the River and Through the Woods

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The road to river running is fraught with danger and excitement.

I was busy sorting and cataloging some new porno pictures that I got off the Internet, (Isn’t that such a wonderful invention?) when I came across several (okay, thousands) of photographs of some very handsome, scantily clad and naked young men frolicking in the water. My mind was drawn wistfully to an earlier era — most likely during the Bronze Age — when I used to organize an annual river-floating camping trip. I’m pretty sure it was the Bronze Age because we had already discovered how to create a fire with a skillful combination of gasoline and matches.

I would load up the Flaming Queen, my 1962 vintage motor home complete with polyester curtains and crystal chandelier, with all my essentials including my rhinestone-studded high heels for hiking, my gold lamé gloves for gathering firewood, and set out for adventure. Last, but not least, I would wear my special camping tiara. It conveniently has an emergency GPS locator beacon placed behind the central jewel, just in case of a terrorist kidnapping, or in case I wander off the beaten path while trying to go potty in the night. I highly recommend that every queen have one.

We called our annual river-running excursion “The Bear River Fruit Float.” It just so happens that the water flow in the Bear River is controlled by PacifiCorp, and the water is only high enough to float when they need to release water from Oneida Dam to make electricity. We would camp by the riverside and play games, and talk about sex while watching for the water to rise.

When we would notice the river level come up, there would be a mad dash to don our rhinestone-bedazzled “Mae West” life preservers and launch our inner tubes into the raging torrent.

OK, raging torrent may be an exaggeration; perhaps slumbering ripple would more exact. Nonetheless, launching into the moving current and remaining securely on an inner tube was problematic. As all the buff bois and queens rushed to water, it resembled the launching of the D-day invasion of Normandy. Gen. Eisenhower would have been so proud.

Surprisingly, the sudden coldness of the water caused the buff gym bunnies to screech louder than a loose fan belt that they were surely going to die, while the queens suffered in quiet dignity. Being the most gravity-enhanced member of our party, my personal launching most resembled the launching of the RMS Queen Mary — minus cracking the bottle of champagne over my head, but including the resulting tidal wave that obliterated the nearest campsite on the river’s opposite bank. Immediately, my top-heavy tube capsized in a perfect imitation of The Poseidon Adventure. After channeling my inner Shelley Winters, I righted my tube and began traveling down the river covered in moss while singing “There’s Got to Be a Morning After.”

It is indeed tragic that a traditional beehive hairstyle does not hold its shape under water, and even waterproof mascara cannot withstand the river’s force, thus giving me black eyes. I tried as best I could to regain my royal comportment. In my mind, I was on Queen Cleopatra’s river barge; the only things missing were the studs waving palm fronds at me. But, in reality, I was looking like a drowned raccoon being served up on a giant chocolate doughnut.

After a full day of river running, and several hours of telling stories around the campfire about narrow escapes and sexual conquests, I retired to the boudoir of the Flaming Queen to rest up for another day.

On Saturday morning, I awoke early to repair my damaged appearance before anyone could behold me in this waterlogged state in broad daylight. After all, a true queen should never be seen in such a condition unless she is on the way to the morgue, and even then it’s uncalled for.

As I glanced out the window of the Flaming Queen, I was shocked and amazed to see a whole platoon of men in army uniforms gathered around the camping site. After ruling out a Soviet attack (I had just recently watched the movie Red Dawn), I lay back and realized that I was in heaven. Men in uniform, any uniform, are a very special turn-on for me.

It turned out that a National Guard unit was conducting their monthly drills at this campsite. For hours, I peered out at the very handsome soldiers from behind my polyester curtains like a Peeping Tom, fantasizing about being captured and interrogated to discover my make-up secrets, and body-cavity searched for contraband cosmetics.

Maureen McGovern was right! “The Morning After” my personal “Poseidon experience” was turning out to be faaabulous.

To my delight, later that evening, one of the soldiers was hitchhiking into town. Well, I’m not one to waste an opportunity, so even though I was headed in the opposite direction, I turned the car around faster than you can say, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and gave the nice soldier a ride, with my hitchhiking and soldier fantasies in high gear. Alas, hanky-panky happened only in my imagination. But, what a movie that would have made!

Like always, these events leave us with many eternal questions:

  1. If we dumped a bottle of Viagra into the river, would the water rise to the occasion on our schedule?
  2. If that were so, would it be considered to be “hard water?”
  3. Should we have performed a USO-style drag show for the soldiers?
  4. Is giving the soldier a ride considered serving my country?
  5. Is capsizing on the river similar to water-boarding?
  6. If I used spray varnish instead of hairspray, would my hair retain shape under water?

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

Petunia Pap Smear

Petunia Pap Smear is a Matron of Mayhem who was born and raised in Cache Valley, Utah. She hosts Third Friday Bingo and the Big Gay Fun Bus.

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