E is for:
The Exchange While the building is still called The Exchange Hotel, these days it is better known by its compartmentalised bars like 34B and Phoenix.
But back in the glory days of stonewashed 1980s, The Exchange was the place to be if you were young, pretty and just venturing out. George Michael-style bouffants rubbed shoulder-pads with face-painted gender benders, all to the tunes of Depeche Mode and Heaven 17 on an elevated dancefloor, complete with Saturday Night Fever-style flashing lights.
The best dance moves competed with the skill of just staying on top of the tiny but jam-packed space, all while serious cruising was done. It was also a good place for star-spotting, with Bananarama’s Jackie and Boy George dropping in for a drink, though fellow gender bender
Marilyn came off worse for wear after an incident with a fellow patron. The Exchange had its own Marilyn with a Monroe look-alike who ruled the roost out the back in the rustic Saddle-Up Bar, so named because of the saddle seats.
It was a different era, when the place shut at 2am as the closing was heralded with the camp anthem, The Homecoming Queen Has A Gun.
The irony is, the men now downstairs at Phoenix are probably the same boys who, all those years ago, were upstairs with the hands in the air -“ just dancing to a different tune, and wearing slightly less leather.
Eyebrows The removal of stray hairs around one’s eyebrows is admirable. And shaping brows to suit the shape of one’s own face is certainly advantageous for all.
It’s amazing what a bit of brow-taming can do -“ hell, once John Howard finally trimmed his bushy caterpillars he was elected prime minister.
But sadly, some men don’t seem to know when to stop with the waxing and plucking and end up with eyebrows the width of a pencil-thin line. Some seem to think tiny, thin brows look quite fetching and flattering.
But here’s the truth: they look terrible! On any man, no matter how gay or metrosexualised they might be. There’s no shortage of offenders in the gay community, Rob from Big Brother is a prime example.
In fact it seems the first thing some men do once they realise they’re gay is remove most of each brow.
But why? Do they enjoy having a constant shocked expression? Do they want as little hair on their body as possible? Maybe they’ve just grown up watching too much Jeannie Little on television.