The Perils of Petunia Pap Smear

Petunia Pap Smear: A Tale of Taco Tuesdays

The road to home from choir practice is fraught with danger and excitement.

I am privileged to be a member of the Salt Lake Men’s Choir. I know it’s difficult to believe but the SLMC actually let me in. They hold rehearsals in the First Baptist Church, up on the east bench, kitty-corner from East High School. The most astonishing fact about my being in the choir is that no one was struck by lightning as I drove Queertanic into the church parking lot, and the roof did not fall down upon my entering the church building. Hazzah! 

A few months ago, before all this Covid-19 insanity began, I was heading home from choir rehearsal one calm evening. Now, driving Queertanic down the steep incline of 800 South is a white-knuckle affair. The white knuckles do create such a delightful contrast to my fire-engine-red Lee Press-On Nails that it’s difficult to not be distracted while driving. But I digress. Descending the hill entails carefully holding back the combined immensities of both Queertanic and my gravity enhanced bulkitude dressed in my best traveling frock by fighting the incessant downhill pull of the aforementioned gravity coming down the mountain. 

(At this point in our story you may feel free to sing that old folk song…)

She’ll be coming down the mountain when she comes
She’ll be driving Old Queertanic when she comes
She’ll be wearing blinking breasticles when she comes
And we’ll all go running for shelter when she comes …

In order to keep the speedometer under the speed of sound while fighting the forces of Sir Isaac Newton’s discovery, it is necessary to slam my high heel so firmly on the brake pedal that it has punched a pencil-sized hole in the device. Each and every time I go down this mountain all I can do is envision my uncontrolled descent to a salty watery plunge into the Great Salt Lake.

On this particular evening, the trip down 800 South was mostly uneventful, except for being slightly blinded by the brightness of my blinking breasticle lights reflecting back off the windshield. However, as I was passing the 7-Eleven on 300 East, I heard an engine roar loudly enough to cause me to look to the side. Just as I passed the entrance to the parking lot, a car zoomed out of the lot, aimed directly at Queertanic as if to broadside my beloved land yacht. I swerved into the oncoming lane to avoid a collision, wondering what kind of show-off stunt some dumbass teenager was trying to pull. What most infuriated me though, was that the sudden swerve had caused my beehive wig to wobble askew and ended up tilted off the side of my head resting against the window. Hell hath no fury like a drag queen with a messed-up wig!

Incensed with righteous indignation at the afront to my hair, my vengeful eyes were laser-focused on that damned car as I followed about a half-block behind. When he approached State Street, the traffic light turned red, and the cross-traffic began to move through the intersection. To my astonishment, the crazy afront to wig wearers everywhere didn’t stop or even slow down. He didn’t even touch his brakes. He plowed straight through the intersection against the light.

For a split second, I thought he might just miss the cross traffic, but no! Boom! Crash! He T-boned a Nissan Cube as it was slowly proceeding through the intersection. The Cube flew into the air and spun around 180 degrees before landing in a pile of smoking rubble. I screamed in horror as the speeder lost control and headed directly for the taco cart located near the corner in front of the old Sears building. Oh, the horror! How horrendous! How terrible! Oh, the humanity! For the city to lose one of its most important taco purveyors would be the ultimate disaster. Worse than this car crash. Worse than the earthquake. Even worse than when my mascara ran when I cried while reading Where the Red Fern Grows. How could I ever celebrate Taco Tuesday again without reliving this dreadful nightmare of my messed-up hair?

As I drew closer, all I could see was the carnage of scattered car parts littering the street, mass confusion, and panic, and smoke and steam rising in the air. In order to avoid puncturing a tire on the jagged debris, I turned left and pulled into the Taco Time parking lot to assess the situation. Thank goodness at least Taco Time was preserved.  As the smoke began to clear, I heaved a great sigh of relief to see that the car had been stopped by hitting a fire hydrant and the taco cart was still there. 

(Feel free to sing again…)

Thru the car crash’s red glare, and tires bursting in air
Came proof through the night that the taco cart was still there
O say does that taco cart menu yet wave
O’er the land of the hungry and the home of the depraved …

In the immortal words of Scarlet O’Hara, “As God is my witness, I’ll never go hungry again!”

This story leaves us with several important questions:

  1. Was I to crash into the Great Salt Lake, would I become a pickled Petunia?
  2. Should I develop a saline-resistant line of make-up?
  3. Would the saltwater short out my breasticle lights?
  4. Should I bury my messed-up wig and plant a red fern on top of it?
  5. Should I change my food emphasis from Taco Tuesdays to Meatloaf Mondays or French Fry Fridays?
  6. Or better yet, should I celebrate them all?

These and other eternal questions will 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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