The Perils of Petunia Pap Smear

A Tale of Celestial Seasonings

The road to the temple is fraught with danger and excitement.

I was raised a devout Mormon, but despite having left the church several years ago, I’m still at heart a cultural Mormon (perhaps I’m experiencing a latent desire to be a Relief Society president), and I have always been fascinated by the craftsmanship and artistry in the pioneer era Mormon buildings. Thus, last month, I pinned my missionary name tags on the ends of my breasticles, recruited a small group of friends, and decided to travel to Manti, Utah, to take the rare opportunity to tour the open house of the pioneer-era Manti, Utah Temple, famous for its artistic murals including a couple of dinosaurs, the beautiful workmanship of its carpentry, and unsupported spiral staircases.

Driving into Manti, we could see the majestic structure perched high on a hill from miles away. The town was as crowded as if there was going to be a Taylor Swift concert. Luckily, Queertanic, my beloved land yacht, sports a “princess parking pass” and we were able to park in a handicap spot very close to the building. Despite having made a reservation, the line to enter the temple wound all the way down the hill for about a half mile. The line was moving even more slowly than the line waiting at the meat carving station at Chuck-A-Rama, with which I am all too familiar. While we were still near the back end of the line, at the bottom of the hill, a young boy, probably about 10 years old was horsing around on the hillside above us and chucked a rock. It happened to hit me directly on the top of my head, then bounced off and hit my friend Max in the chest, leaving a goose egg on my head and a bruise on Max’s chest. The kid mumbled “sorry” and ran away.

After an eternity of three and a half hours, we finally reached the doors. Of course, we all had to wear those paper booties to cover our shoes, lest we soil the carpet. I began to fret, about just how was I going to be able to bend over and put on the bootie without a chair to sit on. Just then a handsome young man dressed in his Sunday best clothes, motioned me over to a fence, very similar to the gripping rail I had seen in the rear of an all-male adult theater in San Francisco. With visions of hot elders gyrating around me, I held onto the fence as:

I put my right foot in,
I took my right foot out,
I put my left foot in,
And I shook it all about,
I thought some hanky panky,
And I turned myself around,
That’s what I’m all about.

I was offended because the booty color clashed with my caftan. However, with my “stylish booties” now intact, I entered the sacred edifice. Just inside there was a sign on a doorway reading, “Matron Office”. Wow, who knew that Brigham Young prophesied about the Matrons of Mayhem and had the architect create an office for us? We proceeded climbing stairs from room to room, marveling at the beautiful murals. I took special care to notice the two dinosaurs on the back wall of the Creation Room. I also observed the intricately carved wooden handrails on the stairs which seemed to be everywhere. The place was indeed beautiful.

I reached the famous spiral staircase with much apprehension as hauling my buttockus maximus up stairs can be quite arduous and I’m easily out of breath. I stood at the bottom of the stairs and looked up. Oh! My! Hell! It was five floors of stairs with no apparent break. It became readily apparent that due to the throng of people in line, I would not be able to take my slow pace. Thus, I followed my friend Max and began to ascend this “Stairway to Heaven.” After about two floors, I began to huff and puff, like the wolf in the Three Little Pigs story. By the third floor, I was ready to pass out. In desperation, I grabbed onto Max’s belt and asked him to help pull me up.

All proceeded well for about ten more stairs. Then due to the strain of pulling my ample Rotunditude up the steep incline, Max’s pants began to fall down. After about five additional stairs, a “full moon” appeared right in front of my face. Just as I was beginning to think about naked bums and what to do with them, Max reached back and hiked up his pants. It was then that I came to the realization that this was probably not the right time nor place to “rim” the moon presenting itself to me.

Gasping for air, I staggered from the stairs into the Celestial Room. I stumbled across the room and plopped myself down on a lovely chair, trying to catch my breath and hopefully not die. One of the ushers must have thought I was having a spiritual experience because she lovingly handed me a box of Kleenex and reassuringly patted me on my shoulder.

This story leaves us with several important questions:

1.    How does an old pioneer-era queen qualify for VIP status on these temple tours?

2.    Could a fully functional beehive wig perform the same function as the shields on the Starship Enterprise and protect the Starship Pap Smear from bumps on the head?

3.    If we sang, “We’re goin’ to temple and we’re not gonna get married.” Would they still let us in? Even if we did a kick-line?

4.    If I had died in the Celestial Room, would they have baptized me for the dead right then and there?

5.    If they did baptize me, would my breasticles poke up out of the water?

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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