There was movement at the station ’cause word had got around. Yes, Mardi Gras is about to kick off. To think it was just a year ago and I was typing an article much the same as this. It means you are getting old when time seems to slip past you like sands through an hourglass.

Kick-off this year is returning to the fabulous forecourt of the Opera House and I am almost wetting myself with excitement. Granted Hyde Park was fun but let’s face it, it’s no Opera House. I remember many years ago when I was going through what I like to call Maxi of the Wilderness Year each Mardi Gras launch was just as important as any other event on the MG calendar.

Sheila and I would get done up like sore toes and make our way to the forecourt. This was usually a mad dash as it was a time when I had a day job and didn’t finish till 6pm.

We would push and wiggle our way through the crowd to find friends or make new friends to get the best position.

To be truly honest, we usually didn’t watch much of the ceremony; the evening mostly consisted of giggling and chatting with people on the Opera House stairs.

After consuming numerous bottles of shitty champagne (who knew dog piss had bubbles?), once again it was a mad dash to the port-a-potties, but nine times out of 10 we ended up going on the fence with the majority of the other lads.

All in all the night was getting boozy with thousands of your now closest mates -“ Sheila making a spectacle of herself -“ and then walking all the way up to Oxford Street complaining that your shoes hurt. Heaven!

Due to work commitments and true laziness I have missed the last few launches, so this year I am returning to my old stomping grounds. This year I will be done up like a Christmas ham, and once again consuming copious amounts of shitty champagne.

One thing that does worry me is the cover charge. For me $10 is fine, but there are a lot of others who think $10 is a big deal. Granted that is usually the price of only one drink, but there are many who can’t afford just the one drink. Something like MG launch should be accessible to everyone in the community. Let’s not try to divide us by what some have and others don’t.

EYESPY Believe it or not, there is actually someone out there who has been crazy enough to write a book on drag. Carol Langley (she has the patience of a saint) is launching Beneath The Sequined Surface featuring some of Sydney’s finest this Monday at the Flinders Hotel. It should be in bookshops for Mardi Gras, so if you ever want to find out what your showgirls are really about, buy the book.

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