Art Attack. The Oracle says it’s the gayer man's Art with Heart, housed in Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, the queerer man's Carlu. No one likes to be compared, so let's just stop right there. Now go, make your way inside. First, stick your head (the one on your shoulders) inside the life-sized Maurice Vellekoop painting of a bright green alien with a most generous appendage. No Grindr colour blocking here. Venture into the Rock Hudson Memorial Tuck Shop, draped in fabric and hidden under the balcony like an evil troll. Housing one-of-a-kind craft creations by some creative geniuses the journey through it is half the fun. Roy Mitchell’s Our Mayor Embarrasses/Scares Me buttons are both colourful and true, while Michael Caines's curious illustrations are both cute and confusing to most. But it’s Chris Ironside’s framed needlepoint work, which reads, “Peace, Love and a Hard Cock,” that captures attention. Perfect for any kitchen or nursery. Stepping out from under the sheets, enter the main room, where this year tables are placed in the centre of the action for the hard-core bidders. This way they don’t have to concentrate on bidding, drinking and standing. Brilliant. Ooohh and aaahh as a bidding war erupts over Andrew B Myers’s The House That Nightmares Built, Humboldt Magnussen’s Twelve Arms to Hold You, Ashlee Marcus’s Andy and N Maxwell Lander’s icantobjectifyyouificanseeyoureyes. David Dixon (he’s every-bloody-where) gets flustered and escapes to the back bar for a drink. A double? Count as Jefferson Darrell and friend lap up pint after pint of free Steam Whistle draft (to the delight of bartender and badass Crackpuppy bassist Patricia Wilson). Marvel as curator Keith Cole does runway with an empty tray of food. He swears he didn’t eat it all. Witness Miss Margot (who’s recently published her delicious book The Margot Project with photographer James Lourenço), converse with Cassandra Moore (who opens up the night with a performance as Lady Gaga) and The Lady Regina (no relation to Lady Gaga). Point at artist John Webster, whose flowery Sissydude head toppers sit oh-so-adorably on his head. Watch as glorious ginger Shawn Hitchins hosts alongside quick-tongued auctioneer Charlene Nero. The girls must love her. She’s so lickity-split fast that at one point we don’t realize that instead of increasing bids by $40, she’s actually increasing them by $200. What? How they hell did we get up to $1,000?! The Oracle says I’ve spent my rent money. But at least it’s going to a good cause: Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.
Business Woman’s Special. The Fates say it’s the mature gay man’s Big Primpin', housed in Round (formerly Augusta House), the plaider man’s Wrongbar. No one likes to be compared, so we’ll end it right there. Now begin your ascent up the stairs to the second floor and squeeze your way inside for their fourth anniversary party. Rumours lead us to believe that this newly renovated space is completely round. The rumours are false. Case in point: you might end up stuck in at least two corners as we do, trying to navigate the room. But as you do, do the bump and hustle with a few cuties who have had a few too many. Hands above the waist, please. Watch as hostess supreme mostest April Wozny (who tonight is clearly feeling no pain), dressed as a circus ringleader, whips the drunken masses into shape with her black whip. Part the dancefloor like the red sea at 1am as a hoop is lowered from the ceiling. A show of big-top proportions is about to start. Pay attention as drag queen Mozza Fierce channels pop queen Britney Spears while accompanied by a female aerial artist who twists, turns and slides inside the hoop like a circle-twerking pro. All she needs now is a hammer to lick. Clap and cheer as Wozny, alongside co-host Michael Lawrence, DJ Phil V, DJ Sammy, DJ Nino Brown and BWS photographer Kimon Kaketsi celebrate their birthday in typical sugar-coated style — with a sparkler-lit cake. Grab a slice. Use your fingers (not the ones that were just down pants); no forks needed. The Fates say I now have another cavity. But at least it’s for a good cause: Business Woman’s Special.