The Perils of Petunia Pap Smear

A tale of a deer in the headlights

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The road to Arizona is fraught with danger and excitement.

As many of you may know, when I am not playing with balls, at Third Friday Bingo, to pay the bills and buy all the Aqua Net necessary to maintain the beehive hair, I have a very butch-sounding job as a truck driver. To be more specific, I’m an expedited delivery driver, so when an item needs to be delivered sooner than Fed-Ex can do it, or if the freight is too big for them, then I’m your gurl.

Even though I purchase most of my fabulous jewelry at truck stops, I’m sorry to disappoint all of you who are hyperventilating about truck-stop cruising fantasies — suffice it to say that Grindr, GROWLr and Scruff have made those kind of sex-capades as extinct as my natural brunette roots. And lest you think driving is a job too butch for a monarch of my stature, despite the fact that I am a size queen in all things, I usually drive a small pick-up truck.

Last August, I received the assignment of transporting a 700-pound piece of equipment to a copper mine in Arizona, about an hour east of Phoenix. It was late afternoon before I loaded and on the road.

I thought that leaving late was a good thing, so that I’d be mostly driving at night when it was cooler. Anyone who knows me is aware that when the temperature rises above 75, I begin to do my melting impersonation of the Wicked Witch of the West. In reality, even the most industrial strength water-proof mascara is no match for a melting Pap Smear.

I put the best of ABBA on the stereo, and motored happily on my way southward. I was halfway through “Dancing Queen” as my intrepid little truck, heavily laden with a huge box, descended down from the Colorado Plateau into The Valley of the Sun. I could feel the ambient temperature rising. I had the little truck’s air conditioning cranked to its maximum, and I was still a tad bit uncomfortable. It was now 2 a.m. and even though I could see the lights of civilization in the distance, my GPS told me to divert from the freeway, and take a narrow two-lane highway east into the wilderness. Being the obedient queen that I am, I made the course correction.

It happened to be a moonless night, so it was really dark. Normally I like the darkness, because it helps hide those little wrinkles around my eyes which Maybelline is not able to contend with, and industrial spackle is just the wrong shade to accomplish a youthful natural appearance. But tonight the darkness came as a hindrance because the road was narrow and winding, and it was very difficult to see where I was going. I rounded a sharp curve and there she was, the proverbial “deer in the headlights,” making her last stand in the middle of the road.

Crash, Bang, Boom. Like the Titanic before her, my little truck was unable to avoid the deer, standing still as an iceberg. My vision was obscured when the air bag deployed. My arms, face and chest were black and blue from the impact. As I brought the truck to a stop, I heard a sickening grinding noise that did not sound at all good.

I got out to investigate. The front quarter panel had been pushed in and was rubbing on the tire and the left headlight was gone. There was no one in sight. I hadn’t seen another car for at least an hour. I was alone. The temperature was above 105 degrees and I was sweating profusely. What to do, what to do?

I initially thought that I could attach one of my breasticles to the front of the truck to function as the lost headlight, but alas, all my breasticles have blinking lights and do not cast a steady light, so that would not work. In the glow of the remaining headlight and my blinking breasticle light, which I had deployed on the road as a traffic warning beacon, I could see I was gathering an audience of toads. Huge, ugly, wart-inducing toads. At least 15 of them.

Now, I refuse to deal with reptiles and amphibians under the best of circumstances. But as a damsel in extreme distress, this was beyond the pale. It was just like the scene of the second plague from the Ten Commandments movie, only Charleton Heston was dead now and Moses couldn’t come and rescue me. I wished I had paid more attention on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disneyland to know how to deal with the critters.

Providentially, I did have cell phone service and was able to call a tow truck. I waited for 90 sweltering minutes, listening to the croaking toads, for prince charming to come and rescue me. My dreams of happily ever after were dashed among the toads, when Bubba with only three teeth in his mouth, showed up. Bubba loaded my little truck onto the back of his tow truck and within five minutes of driving, the tow truck hit a deer. Would this nightmare never end?

As always, these events leave us with several burning eternal questions:

1. Should I convert my breasticles into a fleet of Zeppelins for the purposes of flying over the Grand Canyon?

2. Should I write a recipe book, Road Kill, Fit For A Queen?

3. Should I design a series of headlight breasticles?

4. Should I market them in auto parts stores or high fashion outlets?

5. Should I buy stock in a wart remover?

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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