The Perils of Petunia Pap Smear

A tale of a spinal tap

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The road to spinal health and strength is fraught with danger and excitement.

This is the continuing saga of my ever so slow recovery from the auto accident. Of course you all remember that I am being treated by a drop dead gorgeous stud muffin with the dreamy eyes and muscles bulging through his hospital scrubs whom, for privacy sake, I shall call Doctor Proctor. It’s so sad that he is an orthopedic specialist and would have no occasion to give me a proctology exam. Just sayin’.

Of course like any worthwhile queen out of makeup and not wearing a tiara, I’m bitching up a storm in the doctor’s office, complaining of this pain and that. Well, after a little poking and prodding, and hitting my elbow with a little rubber hammer, the Good Doctor prescribed an injection into my spine, to see if it might instigate some relief.

It’s a very good thing that Mr. Pap Smear accompanied me to listen to instructions because when the doctor is speaking to me, I cannot actually hear the words coming out of his mouth because I am mesmerized by the sensual movement of his lips, and how they curve up slightly at the edges to form a most captivating smile with gleaming teeth that actually sparkle in the light. The always unflappable Mr. Pap Smear scheduled the injection for two weeks later.

So, it was injection day and I drove myself to the hospital. I checked in with the receptionist and waited in the waiting room. I was expecting a nurse to come and give me something like a tetanus shot in the back of my neck. I wasn’t really looking forward to it, because I’ve always hated shots, but it should be no biggie. In and out in five minutes. I could tolerate that. Oh how wrong I was!

The first sign that things were going to be more serious than I had thought was when the nurse came out to get me, wearing what looked like a bullet-proof suit of lead.

She inquired if I had someone to drive me home? I lied by saying that Mr. Pap Smear was in the coffee shop waiting. “Holy crap, how am I gonna get home,” I asked myself; all the while my blood pressure was rising. She took me back and had me dress in one of those fashion affronting open-back hospital gowns. At least she let me retain my leopard-print panties. Thank goodness I learned in princess finishing school to always wear clean underwear because you never know when you might be on parade. Then, to my shock and horror, she started an IV in my arm. All this, just to get poked in the neck?

Next, she escorted my leopard-print ass unceremoniously down a long and breezy hallway to an operating room. Waiting in the room were Dr. Proctor and six — count them — six other technicians, all wearing lead bullet-proof suits. Holy shit, I’m not in Kansas anymore Toto!

They directed me to an operating table in the middle of the room, over which a giant X-Ray machine was suspended — very sci-fi, very creepy, very Frankenstein! As I approached, I noticed a tray holding a syringe with a ten-inch needle. Oh! My! God! The nearest tech took my arm and helped me get up on the table. I was so freaked out I couldn’t even tell if any of them were cute or not. He laid me out on the table and then began to strap me down. When he was sure I couldn’t flee, Dr. Proctor moved my head so that I was looking up and to the left.  I said, in my best Norma Desmond voice, “I’m ready for my close-up Mr. Demille,” to which no one in the entire room responded. Oh please, am I really that old?

The tech then said he was going to sterilize the area to prevent infection. Instead of cleaning the back of my neck as I expected, he began to swab the front of my neck, you know, the area where vampires commonly bite. Then Dr. Proctor explained that the ten-inch needle has to go all the way through my neck guided by the X-Ray machine so as not to “spring a leak” as it was told. Holy shit!

He instructed to hold still and not breathe. I felt the pressure of the needle on my neck. I could actually feel it going through.  Of course, all I could think about was gasping for air, I couldn’t possibly hold my breath long enough. Then I got the urge to swallow. Oh for God’s sake no, he’ll pierce my Adam’s Apple for sure. Then, as God is my witness, I felt the need to cough. Surely I was going to die. The Doc said, this might burn a bit. Suddenly, it was as if the gates of hell itself were opened and hell fire and brimstone were pouring down my spine. I was surely gonna die. Ten seconds later it was all over, and they were helping me down off the table. I quickly changed clothes and I couldn’t wobble to my car fast enough.

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

  1. Am I just lucky or are all healthcare professionals drop dead gorgeous?
  2. Or are the healthcare professionals really not that good looking, and the painkillers are skewing my vision?
  3. Is Doctor Proctor secretly channeling Doctor Frankenstein?
  4. Will my beehive hair now be black with a silver streak in it, ala Bride of Frankenstein?
  5. Should they schedule these injections only at Halloween time?

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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