The Perils of Petunia Pap Smear

A tale of hip-hip-hooray

The road to walking is fraught with danger and excitement.

Those of you who follow me on Facebook might have noticed that I’ve been complaining and angling for sympathy because the long-suffering Mr. Pap Smear had to have hip replacement surgery. In the planning stages of this adventure, we talked to a few friends who have had hip replacements, and they positively gushed about how it was outpatient surgery. They were out of the hospital within a few hours and were able

to walk their dog the very next week. Accordingly, we made plans for a quickie zippy hippy. Yippy! We did not adjust our schedules to accommodate more than a one-day inconvenience, as I had plans to travel to Idaho for lottery tickets because the Powerball was up to a billion dollars. (Mama needs a new sequin caftan!)

The night before the procedure, the hospital called and informed us that we needed to check in at LDS Hospital at 5:30 AM. Oh, GAWD! The only other time I have ever arisen so early was to get in line for a clearance sale at Wigs-R-Us. We arrived at the hospital all bleary-eyed and yawning with my make-up haphazardly applied. We happened to pass by one of those mirror walls, and I was aghast that nothing about me was in the right place. I looked like a painting by Pablo Picasso. If I’m honest, my wig was sitting off-kilter at a 45-degree angle, and my left breasticle was sagging severely.

After all the surgery prep with nurses and doctors (sadly, none of them were cute) was over, they whisked Mr. Pap Smear off to the operating room for what I was told was a three-hour (cue the Gilligan’s Island theme song about the three-hour tour) surgery. As I watched the orderly push him away, rather than being concerned for his welfare, all I could do was watch the orderly’s firm, tight, muscular ass straining to escape from his tight-fitting scrubs as he pushed the bed down the hall. I was unceremoniously ushered to the waiting room. Because it was so early in the morning, I was the only one in the room. The surgery was assigned a number so that I could track his progress on a monitor on the wall. His number was the only one on the screen.

So, I settled in and began reading my dog-eared copy of Miss Manners’ “Book of Etiquette for Queens,” especially the chapter on how to attract, approach, and capture the North American homosexual male in his natural habitat for the umpteenth time. At about the three-hour mark, many other people had come and gone from the room, and many, many other numbers appeared on the monitor. I looked up from my book and there, sitting opposite me, was the most handsome specimen of humankind I had ever seen in my entire life. We shall call him Mr. Dreamboat. Oh, be still my throbbing heart. I almost went into cardiac arrest. I immediately began to plan our life together, traveling the world, meeting the rich and famous, and living the fairytale of happily ever after. Just then, a nurse came up to me, startling me out of my daydream, and told me that Mr. Pap Smear’s surgery was taking longer than planned. Oh yeah, I’m married, and can’t live the life fantastic with Mr. Dreamboat.

Eventually, Mr. Dreamboat left the waiting room. Sadly, the surgery he was waiting for was finished and successful. I watched with agonizing sorrow as he passed from my field of view. Time pressed on and on and on. I was getting hungry. And I was left to ponder the eternal question: should I go to the cafeteria now or wait until the surgery is finished? With my luck, I knew that the minute I left the waiting room to go to the cafeteria, the surgeon would come to inform me about Mr. Pap Smear’s condition. Since the original plan was for a three-hour surgery, I chose not to go to the cafeteria but to wait like any dutiful spouse should.

Eventually, three hours turned into six hours. I was still waiting, impatiently! In fact, the room had filled and emptied three times while I waited. I had finished reading my book and was filling the time playing solitaire on my phone. But then, the unthinkable happened. My phone battery died, and I did not have a charger with me. My kingdom for a USB-C chord. My stomach growled unceremoniously loud. I was now beginning to feel hangry.

At long last, at the six-and-a-half-hour mark, the surgeon finally came in and told me that Mr. Pap Smear had survived and would most likely be able to walk in a few weeks. The doctor also said that he would be in recovery for an hour. I saw this as an opportunity and bolted to the cafeteria as fast as possible. After all, I couldn’t possibly nurse him back to health on an empty stomach…

This story leaves us with several important questions:

  1. To pass the time more pleasantly, should I have begun gambling with the others in the waiting room about the duration of their surgeries?
  2. If I had died from a heart attack from looking at Mr. Dreamboat, at the Pearly Gates could I tell St. Peter a little fib, that I died worrying about Mr. Pap Smear?
  3. Would it have been an unforgivable sin if I had quietly wished that Mr. Pap Smear didn’t survive the surgery so that Mr. Dreamboat could console me in my grief? And then whisk me away to Tahiti…
  4. Should I begin carrying a larger purse filled with snacks for such occasions?
  5. Where can I obtain a delicately stylish purse that can contain and maintain a prime rib dinner at temperature?

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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