A guest blog from family historian Rikshala Tarkovka.
Tashkent, 1762. The Winter of Big Troubles. Every winter was a winter of big troubles, but this one was worse because the Jews were blamed for the horrible pimples on the Tsar’s daughter’s tuchas (pr. took-us). There were thousands of them. She couldn’t even sitdown, so was propped up inside the Winter Palace, which of course was the fault of the Jews.
Little Pavela Tarkovka was born that winter, the son of Mossy and Mossy Tarkovka. Yes, he had two non-sexuality-bearing parents of the same name. Sexuality itself was long banned.
Pavela was trained early on in wolverine shucking, wolf tooth scraping, bear berry stealing and, his favorite, yak tail and side body hair fluffing.
The Tsar sent out emissaries to find a cure for the little Tsarita’s terrible tuchas turmoil torture. This was known in Ukraine as the Five Bad Ts – never to be pronounced aloud, only whispered like the names of all diseases.
Pavela grew to be a magnificent Tarkovka: handsome, muscular and of dubious sexuality. He started making smocks and frocks from the fluffed yak hair he so dearly loved. He also created a cream from the shuckings of the wolverine, which he used as make-up. And it ensured a pimple-free environment whenever it was applied! After all, wolverines may be many things but they are usually acne free.
Make-up was banned in Russia, obviously, so Pavela started marketing his acne-free cream as Pavela’s Essence of Wolverine Hair Remover and Boil and Pimple Extractor. Selling was banned among the Jews, so Pavela disguised himself in a beautiful dress and corset he’d made out of fluffed yak hair and went out into the pale as Pavela the Gentile.
Pavela knew that if the cream could be applied to the Tsarita’s tuchas she would be cured and he would become a wealthy star Tarkovka.
Pavela’s cream was given to the Tsar who thought it was cream cheese and immediately called for a bagel. Eventually the cream made its way to the Tsarita’s tuchas, and she was cured and sat down for the first time in her life. A grateful nation bestowed the honor Hero of the Tuchas upon Pavela, a high accolade in Russia.
Our early trailblazing drag hero Pavela paved past prejudice, pride and persecution, otherwise known today as the Six Ps. He didn’t know it but his legacy would rule. The Tsars are gone, and very soon drag will be just another shlep.
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