The Perils of Petunia Pap Smear

A Tale of Smear the Queer

The road to Bed Bath & Beyond is fraught with danger and excitement.

I am a size queen! This statement will come as no big surprise to anyone who knows me. I am also a queen of size — substantially gravity enhanced. To allow myself to survive within modern fashion’s dictates of thinness, I’ve decided that if I surround myself with large objects, I will look smaller. And so, I try to gather big things: Big cars, big hair, big friends, big “personalities,” big jewels, and, of course, big sex toys. As I see it, bigger is always better until it comes to nose boogers — there I have to draw the line.

In my efforts to obtain all things large, I had great fortune to graduate from an intimate queen size bed to a party-sized king bed capable of accommodating large “social gatherings.” This came in very handy as my bed was such a high traffic area.

Thus, I had the great fortune of being able donate my queen size bed to a princess-in-training. I do not own a truck, so transportation was going to be problematic. At first, a good wanna-be-butch buddy of mine lent me his Ford Explorer for the task.

Unfortunately, a queen size box spring will not fit into the back of an Explorer. So once again, “Queer-Tanic,” my 1975 Buick Electra Land Yacht, came to the rescue, thus proving its superiority among vehicles. The acreage on Queer-Tanic’s top rivals that of an aircraft carrier, so it easily accommodated the large box spring and mattress. In fact, with a little ingenious knot tying (thank you, Boy Scouts of America) and generous use of bungee cords, I was able to place about 10 other boxes of pillows, blankets, dust ruffles and doilies up there as well. After she was all loaded up, Queer-Tanic most closely resembled the truck in the Beverly Hillbillies. I could actually hear Jerry Scoggins, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs singing “Te Ballad of Jed Clampett” as I drove into the sunset.

Trying my best to emulate Mrs. Drysdale, the gold standard for drag queens from that show, I donned my most excellent traveling frock, opera-length driving gloves, four inch pumps and a stylish string of pearls. I jumped behind the wheel, and set off to make my delivery.

Unfortunately, I underestimated both the height of the cargo and its potential wind drag. I’m sure that the mattress on top of the car had the aerodynamic lift capacity of a C-130 transport, but come hell or high water, there was a princess in need of a queen’s bed, and I was determined to deliver. Despite being the object of pointing fingers and ridicule on the roadway, all went fairly well until I reached the part where I-215 crosses over the 201 freeway. Suddenly, an unexpected gust of wind hit Queer-Tanic just like the tidal wave that capsized the USS Poseidon. I was forced to swerve into the adjacent lane. Then I apparently over-corrected trying to get back into my lane. The resulting strain on the ropes and bungees proved to be too great for my knot tying abilities; about eight of the boxes decided it was time to leave the car and become an obstacle course on the freeway.

Thanks be to Mary Kay, traffic was not too heavy at the moment, and oncoming cars were able to swerve and avoid hitting the boxes. I pulled into the emergency lane, put on the blinkers and jumped out of the car. I hiked up my skirt, thrust my leg out into traffic and held my opera-gloved hand to my forehead in the classic damsel in distress pose, to attract the assistance of a gallant hero.

But to my dismay, Utah drivers proved to be uncharitable. Even though I was showing my entire thigh, not one inconsiderate bastard pulled over and offered to help. When did chivalry die? It seems that impeccable fashion sense and superior manners will get you nothing is this state. I guess in order to get help in Utah, you must offer verifiable service hours for your priesthood records.

It’s dramatic times like this that every Queen must prepare for: “Petunia, Queen of the Damned,” alone against the world. I scurried about on the busy freeway, faster than Granny Clampett could have collected road kill, dodging cars as I pushed each box over to the side. This quickly evolved into a real life and death game of “Smear the Queer” as my heel got caught in a crack on the blacktop, just as a Mac Truck was quickly advancing upon me. I felt like that one lone protester facing down the column of army tanks during the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Where are Jethro and Ellie Mae when you need some speedy muscles?

Finally, after about 25 minutes of box wrangling, I was able to get back on the road, a little ruffled around the edges, but still looking like Mrs. Drysdale even though I had sweated enough to look like Ellie Mae had pushed me into the “cement pond” for a wrestle. I’m grateful for all my drag queen training. All that shopping frenzy experience increases your speed and agility for when you really need it.

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

  1. Do all your lesbian friends who own trucks automatically disappear whenever it’s time to move something?
  2. Does this story make you hungry for some grits and possum?
  3. When fishing for help on the road, how much leg should you expose?
  4. Would my chances improve if I shaved my legs first?
  5. Would Miss Jane have rescued me faster than Jethro?
  6. How much aerodynamic lift does a beehive hairdo generate?

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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