The Perils of Petunia Pap Smear

The tales of the city

The road to the City by the Bay is fraught with danger and excitement (I left my @&#% in San Francisco).

Ever since I was introduced to the magical “Tales of the City” books by Armistead Maupin I have been totally enthralled with anything to do with “The Emerald City” capital of all things queer. I often imagine myself as Mrs. Madrigal, the consummate ethereal, mystical, and perfect hostess, and friend.

Only two weeks ago, Mr. Pap Smear and I were, fortunately, able to take a vacation to San Francisco.  Here was my big chance to explore “The Golden City” and relive the adventures of Miss MaryAnn Singleton. We decided that having a car in the city could be more of a liability than an advantage. For example, I could park my car at Fisherman’s Wharf for just $45 a day. What a bargain! So we decided to get a hotel across the bay in El Cerrito, near a BART station, and commute into the city like the locals.

On Saturday morning we prepared to leave our hotel. Of course, I absolutely adore touristy things, and could easily classify myself as an “accidental” tourist. The weather man had predicted an 80-degree temperature, with some breezy wind gusts. I chose my most stiffly-styled beehive wig, and added an extra two cans of Aqua Net for increased structural integrity, and just for insurance I wrapped it up in a festive sequined traveling scarf. I donned one of my most comfortable yet, cool wearing traveling frocks. You know, one complete with a very busy print just in case some food spillage might occur, it would be less noticeable. Then, of course, I chose to wear sensible shoes. (I have found that as I advance in years, high heels can be absolutely dangerous. The Utah Bears can attest to this as they have witnessed my falling off the stage at Third Friday Bingo on more than one occasion. Always landing directly at the feet of the Bears table. And always not one of the furry bastards would lift a paw to help me up off the floor.)

We got to the BART station on a Saturday morning, thank goodness it was not too busy. It was a huge adventure for a little queen from an Idaho farm town, human population of 350 and 5,000 sheep. Once we figured out how to purchase the tickets from a vending machine, no need to interact with a person, and to go through the automatic turnstile, the train thundered into the station, and off we went. I tried to occupy my mind by staring at a very cute boy “manspreading” his well-muscled thighs, through spandex cycle shorts, as the train entered the tunnel under the bay, beneath the hundreds of feet of dark, cold, deadly water that could at any moment come crashing into the tunnel. I could not help but envision Shelly Winters swimming for her life, attempting to escape from the capsized USS Poseidon.

We got to Fisherman’s Wharf, and first things first, we had to have some lunch at the Ferry Building. The roll that encased my sandwich was way too big, so I channeled my bread-tearing abilities from my days as an Aaronic priesthood princess blessing the sacrament and prepared some bite-size pieces for the seagulls on the pier — an Alfred Hitchcock flock soon swarmed me! Beware what appeared to be liquid airborne divinity.

We boarded a double-decker bus tour of the city. We of course sat upstairs to get the best view. We traversed all over the city, seeing many wonderful sights and got sunburned wind-whipped in the process.

Then it was nearing dusk, and a huge fog bank was beginning to roll in as the tour bus drove us across the Golden Gate Bridge. Silly me, I did not take a jacket. Senseless me, I did not notice that all of the other passengers had either gotten off the bus or moved into the enclosed warmth of the downstairs.

Just then the trade winds blew in off the coast, pushing the moist and frigid fog, plummeting the temperature. The bus increased to highway speed to cross the bridge. The wind velocity was probably somewhere around 50 mph. Being the only people on the top of the bus we were totally exposed to the elements. The near hurricane force wind grabbed at my jowls which flapped like a drooling Saint Bernard. I suddenly had to pee! It was a textbook example of clenching, very touch and go, until we returned to Fisherman’s Wharf.  I had never been more grateful for a restroom and a cup of steaming clam chowder in my life.

This story leaves us with several important questions:

· Should water have flooded the BART tunnel, do you think my breasticles could have performed as flotation devices?

· Are the blinking lights on my breasticles sufficient to perform as beacons in case of a rescue situation?

· If I tore up french bread into little pieces and sprinkled them on the floor in front of the bears table, do you think they would help me then, or would they pull a Seagull move and shit on me?

· Could Botox have prevented my jowls from flapping in the wind?

· Is this why we practice Kegel exercises?

These and other eternal questions shall 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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