The Perils of Petunia Pap Smear

A tale of push comes to shove

The road to Third Friday Bingo is fraught with danger and excitement.

Let me begin this story with a simple statement of fact. No matter how much people may protest, SIZE DOES MATTER! I am a true size queen. I can’t get proper beauty sleep unless I’m in a king-size bed. I feel like I will wither away into nothingness unless they super-size my combo meal at Burger Queen. I’m totally underdressed unless my beehive hair is at least three feet tall. And most importantly, I want … no, I need a big car!

A couple of years ago when it became necessary to retire Queertanic, my beloved 1975 Buick Electra land yacht, I recalled the immortal words of Miss Vida Boheme: “It all comes down to the classic choice of style versus substance.”  Like any respectable queen, I went with style and chose a luxurious 15-year-old Cadillac Sedan Deville in mint condition, which I christened Queertanic II.

To my immense dismay, the Department of Transportation has ruled that when hauling both my substantial bootius maximus and my makeup kit, Queertanic II qualifies as an oversize load, falls under the regulations for interstate trucking, and must be weighed like a cattle truck at point-of-entry weigh stations. Oh, the indignity!

One recent hot summer afternoon, I was happily driving Queertanic, loaded to the hilt with makeup, hair, and all the rest of my glamour accouterments, to Third Friday Bingo. Queertanic’s very competent air conditioner helped make me oblivious to the sun, relentlessly beating down on the pavement until the temperature rising from the asphalt rivaled the heat of my passion for a Speedo-clad Taylor Lautner. As I sped through Bountiful, I noticed the engine temperature gauge was rising into the red zone. Not wanting to be late for bingo, I decided to power onward.

Accordingly, despite the furnace-like conditions outside, I turned off the air conditioning, opened the windows and turned the heater on high to help remove some heat stress from the engine. Immediately I began to perspire. Normally, a queen does not sweat, she glistens, but in this particular instance, I began to sweat buckets. Mascara began running into my eyes, blurring my vision and there began a small rivulet of glitter flowing down my cleavage.

After I exited the freeway, I was stopped at a red light and the engine temperature approached the melting point of steel, rising even higher than my body mass index. Of course, it was during afternoon rush hour and heavy traffic was obstructing any possible lane change or emergency maneuver that I needed to make. I was stuck in the left-hand turn lane. When the light turned green, I apprehensively pressed on the gas and proceeded into the intersection. To my abject horror, the engine sputtered and died, leaving the car motionless, in the middle of the intersection, blocking traffic in all four directions. And to make a dreadful situation even more horrific, the car was also straddling the Trax rails.

Impatient drivers immediately began honking their horns, adding to my anxiety. I tried to start the engine but to no avail. Frantically, I looked around for a knight in shining armor who might come to aid a damsel in distress, but there seemed to be an acute shortage of knights. Hell, at that point I’d even welcomed a butch dyke on a bike, even though they usually scare the shit out of me. Sweat was streaming into my eyes. In the distance, I could see Trax trains approaching from both directions.

In full terror mode, I threw the transmission into neutral, opened the door, got out, and began to push the 4,000-pound behemoth. Adrenalin must be powerful stuff because after a couple of extreme grunts and fart-producing strains, I was able to attain some movement of the two-ton behemoth. Just as hopes of my being able to salvage the situation began to rise, my shoe came off and I was left stocking-footed on the blazing hot pavement. Shoe be damned, I continued to shove the car forward, hoping against hope that the booty burps had been dry ones. My mama always said to wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident. A lot of good that’s going to do if the rectal honks were wet.

With trains approaching, cars honking, and glitter flowing freely, the car continued its agonizingly slow progress off the tracks. I reached in with my right hand to steer while feeling grateful that the gripping power of my right hand was so much stronger because of all the five against one personal exercise it had received over the years. I was slowly able to maneuver the car out of traffic. Immensely relieved, I returned to the street to retrieve my shoe, which, to add insult to injury, had been run over. The heartless bastards! I let the engine cool a few minutes, was able to start the car, and made it to bingo. Though a little bit bedraggled, I was even on time and astonishingly with poop-less panties!

Like always these events leave us with several eternal questions:

1.      Since the bigger the hair, the closer to God, should I be in line to become the next prophet after Tommy Monson?

2.      Do emergency-room personnel really examine patients’ underwear for skid marks?

3.      Should the DOT force me to display hazmat placards on Queertanic when I’m transporting my makeup kit?

4.      Could beehive hair cushion the impact of a speeding train?

5.      When people say to get a hold of yourself, do they mean “personal exercise”?

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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