The Perils of Petunia Pap Smear

The tale of full-moon Lagoon

The road to Lagoon is fraught with danger and excitement.

I just love QSaltLake Day at Lagoon! I really enjoy hearing all the queens squealing like little girls on the roller coasters. But mostly I like it because the spandex quotient in Lagoon-A-Beach swells to inspirational proportions. I want to bear my testimony that a scene of Speedo-clad, tanned and toned gym-bunnies can be exceedingly inspirational! Lycra Spandex must indeed be the Celestial fabric because there are very few times when I come closer to God than when I encounter a buff hunk sporting a bulging Speedo. Clingy-ness is next to Godliness!

Several years ago, on QSaltLake Day, my visit to Lagoon-A-Beach was a mixed bag of pleasure, pain, and embarrassment. Out of consideration for public safety, the Speedo company does not make swimwear that sufficiently encompasses a “gravity-enhanced” queen. Therefore, I opted to wear some baggy bloomers and a T-shirt to cover the royal body, lest I dazzle the other swimmers with my untanned, lily-white brilliance. Actually, I truly believed that in direct sunlight I might burst into flame, and anyone who witnessed the spectacle would turn into a pillar of salt.

Imagine my mortification when I was informed by the impudent little (but still very cute) teenage lifeguard, barely older than my last perm, that I was not allowed to wear the T-shirt on the slides. Little did the lifeguard realize that it was only his beauty that spared his life. I desired to float down the rapids on one of those festive yellow floating tubes. The ever so adorable lifeguard again narrowly avoided death when he informed me that I may not lay, tummy down, across the tube; I must sit on top of the tube with my ass nestled firmly in the hole. Due to the fact that I have had my spine fused over the course of three surgeries, (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) I was not able to bend my body enough to get my “abundant” ass down in the hole.

Consequently, the resulting vessel was very top-heavy and upon launching, it quickly performed an imitation of the USS Poseidon and capsized. The resulting tsunami swept several “well-packed Speedos” prematurely down the slide. Doing my best Shelly Winters impersonation, I re-surfaced spitting out chlorinated water like a cobra spits venom. I firmly informed the lifeguard that since I had a back fusion, (I had to show him the scars) I must mount the tube by lying across it on my stomach. To my great dismay, without a girdle to secure the goods, my substantial tummy fit perfectly, filling the hole in the middle of the tube, just like jelly in a donut. Thus the “USS Petunia” was launched.

This time the ride began very pleasantly. However, on the second waterfall, the swirling action of the waves caught the waistband of my bloomers and, swoosh-bang-boom, I felt the shorts begin to slide down. Before I knew it, they were down around my ankles, and since I was going “commando” underneath, it unveiled the royal buttocks. Fortunately, I accessed that portion of DNA that humans share with monkeys and I was able to barely cling onto the shorts with my toes. Usually, I enjoy the occasional “Free Willy” skinny-dipping experience, however, this time I panicked because I was about to pass under the pedestrian bridge loaded with dozens of other swimmers, some of them were even “civilians” with children, waiting in line. Frantically, half blinded by the splashing water, I tried unsuccessfully to restore the shorts to their proper place, stretching with my Lee Press On Nails to their utmost limit, all the while trying desperately to stay afloat while crashing into other riders. Relentlessly my tube kept floating closer and closer to the bridge, eventually presenting a “full moon” of blindingly white blubber to the horrified onlookers. Oh, the humanity! This was worse than the Hindenburg disaster.

I shall always be tortured in my nightmares by the horrified screams. I heard someone cry out that the Ross Ice Shelf must have broken away from Antarctica. A child cried, “Look Mommy, it’s the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.” One of the “well-packed Speedo’s (who I had intended to begin stalking) exclaimed that Moby Dick, the great white whale, was attacking. Several others were afflicted with snow blindness. Oh, the indignity!

On the lookout for harpoons, I continued down the two remaining rapids to the bottom of the slide before I could re-group and cover my “assets.”

I was hoping that “Mr. Moby Dick” would rescue me by planting a flag in my “South Pole” region and claim it for Queen and Country. After pulling my shorts back up, in an effort to salvage a modicum of dignity after such an overexposure, I decided to treat this incident just like any other queen would: Pretend that it never happened. Clutching the yellow tube in front of me as a shield, I emerged from the water, ignoring the wide-eyed, slack-jawed onlookers, and marched steadfastly back to the top of the slide.

Thank goodness denial isn’t just that river in Egypt.

Like always these events leave us with several eternal questions:

  1. Is my love of Spandex the reason Spiderman is my favorite superhero?
  2. If I dyed my girdle pink, could I wear that as swimwear?
  3. Would tattooing a “tramp stamp” pointing the way to my “Polar Region” improve my sex life?
  4. Could an erection have prevented the loss of the shorts?
  5. Do I ever stand a chance with “Mr. Moby Dick ?”
  6. Should Lagoon re-enact this experience for Frightmares?

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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