The road to the Pride Parade is fraught with danger and excitement.
I have always loved parades. When I was a little princess in training, I asked my mother to drag me to Preston, Idaho each July, for the Preston Rodeo Parade, which occurred on three consecutive nights. As a lonely Ida-homo princess in training, I had dreamed about being crowned with the grand title of Miss Id-Da-Ho Potato Queen. Or if I had lived further north in Madison County, it would be the title of Miss Russet, Spud Queen. Or even farther north in Kootenai County, where the title was “The Old Koot.”
In my basement bedroom I would sit alone for hours on end, practicing the proper parade queen’s wave, which has three distinctive steps: 1. Screw the light bulb in twice 2. Wash the window twice 3. Touch the pearl necklace once; repeat.
I was always especially enthralled by the actual Rodeo Queens because of the distinctive karate chop motion of their queenly waves. I’ll bet there is hardly a queen here in Utah that hasn’t dreamed of being crowned the Cache County Dairy Princess and being perched atop a mountain of chicken wire and crepe paper, waving to all her subjects while sitting on a throne made of Cache Valley cheese. So you can imagine my excitement when the Matrons of Mayhem decided to have a float in the Utah Pride Parade.
I arrived early on Saturday morning, the day before the Pride Parade, to help build the float. Harry-It Winston was already there, scurrying around, gathering all the rainbow-colored petal paper and glitter in Utah. Already posed on top of the float was a giant alligator with ruby red lips pulling a golden glitter-covered princess carriage, suitable for Cinderella. My heart leaped for joy. I figured that since I was the most senior of the Matrons of Mayhem — the “Major M.O.M.” as it were — I would be the honored queen to sit in this most special of seats on the float.
Before Harry-It could stop me, or even aware of what I was doing, I excitedly mounted the float more adeptly than any desperate queen mounts the last leather-clad dude at last call. I was most curious as to whether my Boducus Rotundus Bunndickus would actually fit in the seat. As I got into the carriage and placed my Aisle Blocker Buns on the seat, I was astonished — there was about three inches to spare.
I was so relieved the bench could accommodate my Tuba Luba Pantaloons that I decided to relax into the seat and practice parade waving. The wrist does get a bit rusty, you know. Unbeknownst to me, the carriage was not yet securely fastened to the deck of the float. As my plentiful girth shifted the fulcrum point of the carriage, it began to tip, ever so slowly, backward. I reached forward to shift the weight and reverse the action, but momentum, being what it is, had already sailed that very large ship.
By now, Harry-It was aware of what was happening and she jumped to my aid, grabbing the hitch of the carriage. Well, those who know me also know that by just passing close by can cause smaller planets to leave their orbits; thus any effort Harry-It was going to attempt — no matter how heroic — would be futile in preventing this slow motion re-enactment of The Poseidon Adventure.
I heard Harry-It cry Toony, Toony! That’s what she calls me when we’re alone. When in public, I insist that she refer to me as “Your Royal Highness, Petunia.” Of course I refer to her as just “It.”
Harry-It was dragged over the top of the carriage riding the hitch just like a Wagnerian Valkyrie — of course minus the horned helmet and chest plate — as it plummeted to the asphalt. The carriage landed upside down, and I landed on my head. I heard Harry-It frantically yelling, but I was muffled by large and fluffy flaps of chubby tummy that had succumbed to gravity and were covering my face, thus suffocating me.
Harry-It, being ever so resourceful (she was raised on a farm in Idaho, too) quickly jumped from the carriage and grabbed a section of garden hose that was lying about and thrust it between two flabby folds, attempting to find my mouth, thus enabling me to breath. It took her three attempts before she was able to find the correct fold. For the morbidly curious, it was the third fold from the top, or fourth roll from the bottom depending on your position. Once the immediate breathing problem was solved, Harry-It slowly helped me extricate myself from the carnage. Bruised and scraped, I mostly sat on a stool and watched as the rest of the Matrons arrived and finished building the float.
I arrived at the parade on Sunday morning with a bruised body and spirit, but was determined to rise above my lot in life. As I climbed onto the float, Karma, that eternal bitch, threw her final insult at me. My beehive hair would not fit into the carriage, thus after my near death experience, I couldn’t ride in it. This story leaves us with several important questions:
- Should I begin a Miss French Fry pageant here in Utah?
- Don’t you find that it’s just more pleasant to label unsightly things such as a large buttocks in Latin?
- Should I not have been honored when NASA forced me to register as a Celestial Object?
- Should I have been insulted when NASA started tracking my movements with the Hubble Space Telescope?
These and other eternal questions shall be answered in future chapters of the Perils of Petunia Pap Smear.