Wednesday, December 30, 2015

5th Annual Emperor Awards

Each year I highlight a few of the individuals who made my city and social media more interesting. For 2015 I was assisted by my illustrious crew: Jolene GOTCHA, Meeshu Bono-Thompson, Kevin Black, and "Maestro of Memes" Josh Jordan - who made all the art for this piece.

If you find yourself in need of context, check out my Year in Review, which is loaded with backstory.

The 5th Annual Emperor Awards

Face of the Year: Maxi Glamour


Since Robyn Montague retired her "Dark Mistress" alter-ego, Janessa Highland has stepped up at St. Louis' grand villainess.
"I just call it like I see it. A lot of people don't like their words - or actions - thrown back at them." -JH

The teacup runneth over when Sean McCabe and former bestie Jimmy Eden had the catfight of the year over social media.  
Heartwarming Tale of the Year

Anthony Leon Reed was told his dog had been put down,
but when he found him there wasn't a dry eye in town.
Interview of the Year

Jim Weckmann's exit interview was the backyard BBQ that burned half the city down.
Volunteer of the Year

Many volunteers go about their work quietly and diligently, without fanfare. Such is the case for Dale Mathew, who walks dogs at Stray Rescue.

One fellow volunteer once remarked that Stray Rescue is so busy and has so many volunteers that it's hard for anyone to even notice your contribution.

"But the dogs noticed" Dale replied.
Hot Mess of the Year
Talent Scout of the Year

If you want to get discovered in the St. Louis area, Jill Moon Whitworth is a good person to know. She's always seeking out fresh local talent to feature in The Telegraph.
Best Comeback of the Year

"Nothing upsets the apple cart liking coming back from the dead." - The Emperor

When prolific internet troll "Michael Javert" targeted her business, Suzanne Jackson did her homework, eventually responding with: "I know where you live. You picked the wrong b*tch to f*ck with."

The Troll Slayer of the Year Award goes to
Suzanne Jackson

We all need an oasis from the drama, and Bar PM provides that much needed space. I don't know how Chad and James do it, but despite turmoil all over the city and a lot of drama right next door, they manage to run the friendliest and most relaxed spot in town.
Fashion Statement Award

Never one to rest on her laurels, theatre guru Joan Lipkin accepted her Ultra Award while wearing the most talked about dress of the year.

Jessica Leigh Foster came out of retirement to dazzle the Emerald Room at The Monocle. Inside she was greeted with a packed house of adoring fans. Down the block a bitter queen scrambled in vain to steer customers away with rumors of a $30 cover.

Best Encore of 2015

The Best Drivers of the Year Award goes to two of the local men who ran over the infamous Speedbump Sally.

Her son asks why her Facebook feed is full of shirtless dudes,Josh Jordan 's grindr complaints can alter her moods.
She comments on posts about glory holes,
Following Facebook whores is just how she rolls.
Kristin Ecker has the Sluttiest Facebook Friends

By no means is this meant to be an exhaustive list. I tried to avoid redundancy by not focusing too much on those I often mention, or on those who received shout outs in my book, Delusions of Grandeur.

This is just a fun way to let you know who's on or should be on your radar.

Thanks for a great year.

Monday, December 21, 2015

2015 Year in Review

This was how my year began. 
On the 7th of January notorious conman and personal friend Dustin Mitchell accused me of getting him fired from his job. 

On the 8th of January I revealed that Desmond Johnson, well-known in the Grove before committing suicide three years earlier, was alive and well living in Northern California. While he did hang himself and the police did find a dead body, paramedics revived him. After waking from a coma his family whisked him away from St. Louis, and he laid low until my interview. 

Many in the Grove were livid, claiming my piece was biased against Johnson's ex, who recruited a local hothead known as Gassy to exact revenge. Gassy was able to get my Facebook shut down for a few days, but the main harassment was aimed at writer Donald Miller.

My post on January 12: 

It occurred to me that I've been rude by not responding in a serious manner to Convicted Felon Dustin Mitchell's countless threats of litigation. My flippant and comical replies had to be a blow to the ego of someone who was once the most feared man in our community, and for that I apologize. 

To make things right, and to show due reverence, I've had my attorney, Joseph Paul Smith, draft this letter.

You're watching Andoetainment.

January 13 

The hostility towards Desmond Johnson was so intense that he deleted his account. I felt I needed to do more and say more about the topic of domestic violence, so I came forward with my own story, published in Vital Voice.  

Grammy nominee Frenchie Davis was flown in to perform at FIVE, Vital Voice's anniversary party, and I was privileged to interview her. 

January 17

I took a trip to Collinsville Illinois to find the home of late mobster Buster Wortman. 

...and while I was at it I explored East St. Louis and found the house where Ike & Tina Turner once lived. 

January 19

I felt homesick for San Francisco when Huffington Post ran a piece about my favorite Tenderloin dive bar. One of the queens featured was my prom date. 

With the legendary Donna Personna

January 20

Orgy Fever fell over St. Louis, and I had to write about it

January 23 

With his Arizona congressional campaign already underway, Dustin Mitchell announces the launch of his solar company. 

January 26 

FIVE was a huge success. Pictured with the testosterone-fueled bad boy of St. Louis, Nicholas Edward. 

January 27

I wrote a piece about Club Bath's sexy new manager and got to the bottom of the mystery man who was on a mission to shut them down. 

January 28

Penned a widely-read piece about the San Francisco housing crisis for

January 29

January 30 

I set out to find the bitterest bitch in St. Louis, and I found him. Nominees were able to simply opt out if they weren't interested, and the winner was to get a campy feature article. The bitterest however, didn't want to opt out or in, but instead opted to spew bitterness at the mere idea of such a contest. I didn't announce his name or write the article, I just backed away slowly.

January 31

On a lazy Saturday I decided to take Meeshu on a Great River Road adventure, and we stopped in Alton to eat at Fast Eddies. It was in Alton I met Kage, and in a moment reminiscent of Garden State he came on the adventure with us. We stopped to explore a cave, and at the mouth of the cave we kissed. 

February 2 

I'm one of the last in town to learn about the Pie Guy. He hits guys up asking if they'll let him throw pies in their faces. Me and "Maestro of Memes" Josh Jordan offer to let him pie us in exchange for an interview, but he declined. 

February 5

Prince of Publishing Darin Slyman loses sleep over the constant calls for my termination.

February 9

Officially dating Kage

February 11

February 13 

Dustin Mitchell claims to have granted a rare interview. 

February 14 

The Emperor's Mardi Gras Opera Box 

Auntie M

February 16 Status Update 

Last week was the wildest ride I've had in a while. Things got serious with an exciting love interest, I had two evening events on weeknights, which is rare for me and resulted in little sleep, I had obligations to house/dog/cat sit and pick up a friend from the airport, had to make Mardi Gras preparations while worrying about the weather, and plan to flash mob Denny Fiske & Chris Kerr's wedding with the Love Boat theme song.
Layered over all this was a disturbed and disgruntled gas station attendant threatening my close friends, the magazines and websites I write for, and vowing to ruin things with my fiancé who doesn't even exist.

This all resulted in the first case of writer's block in a long time, pushing me past deadline for two stories, but I'm happy to report that it's passed, and I'm ready to churn out Andoetainment.

February 22

In the early part of 2015 the Dark Mistress, which was Robyn Montague's angry, drunken alter-ego, would come out late a night to read folks. I loved her, but later in the year she left us. While I miss the Dark Mistress, I know my friend Robyn is happy and healthier without her.


March 8

Colby Jack Adams drew me. 

March 17
Delux Magazine picks up my rebuttal to the RFT piece calling St. Louis "a boil on the butt of Missouri"

March 21 Status Update 

I'm at Bar PM hearing about how Gassy pulled a knife on a woman here two years back when the bar was still Korner's.
Owners have changed but Gassy is still banned.

March 26

Maestro of Meme's Josh Jordan creatively brings awareness of identity theft in the community. 

April 7

In her defense of Gassy, Butterscotch, a local drag queen and one-time #boom contributor, attempts to start the rumor that I make fun of people for being HIV positive on this blog. My response.

It was her friend Gassy who made comments about people with AIDS, as shown in this threat.

April 21 Status Update

Dustin Mitchell is questioned by police regarding a hostage crisis hoax at his North County home. VIDEO

April 25 

Months before the release, grumbling over Delusions of Grandeur begins. 

April 25 

Queen of Camp Alex Braun hosts a storytelling party at his Ferguson time capsule. Draig Hodge, later convicted of running over Speedbump Sally, is in attendance. The judge wouldn't permit the jury to hear about all the other times Speedbump Sally was run over by men.

April 30

My piece about having dinner with Dustin Mitchell the evening of the hostage standoff, where he attempted to frame me for the whole thing.

May 7

Josh Jordan helps me create a mock up of the book cover.

May 11

Perhaps the best picture of Brawny.

May 18

Stefene Russell, Culture Editor for St. Louis Magazine, writes a glowing review of my book ending with, "Chris Andoe has already been crowned Emperor of St. Louis, but if there is any justice in the world, he'll also be coronated as one of its finest, funniest writers."

May 25

Paul Hagan, the NYC-based Editor-in-chief for Metrosource, writes the forward for Delusions of Grandeur:

When I first met Chris Andoe, he struck me as a writer who was overflowing with ideas and possessed of an extraordinary desire to share life’s undiscovered stories, preserving a world of fabulousness before it could fade. I didn’t know the half of it.

My first clue that there was more to Mr. Andoe than had initially met my eye came when I noticed that his Facebook feed was far from the average parade of re-shared memes and questionably-angled selfies.

Chris’s writing - in particular his chronicles of the goings on in and around St. Louis - had the urgency of an embedded journalist in a war zone. He had clear enemies and fervent allies who agitated for their downfall. He opened doors to a world of people with multiple aliases and secret identities, sinister perpetrators of long cons, and drag personalities who embody every aspect of the word legendary.

Delusions of Grandeur is the cream of this crop - a distillation of Chris’s exploits as an inciter of Bacchanalian revel and a muckraker of the seedy underbelly of the gay community. The maxim that truth is stranger than fiction may be worn out as an over-the-hill hooker, but there are times when the details in these stories are so deeply bizarre that truth is their only explanation. That said, it’s worth noting they’d be worth reading as fiction, anyway.

St. Louis has offered the world a variety of artistic gifts, from the Oprah-inspiring poetry of Maya Angelou to the scintillating star power of Tina Turner. But in choosing it as a playground and battlefield for his epic exploits, Chris Andoe has ensured for the city a twisted new chapter in our shared cultural history.

No wonder they call him “The Emperor.”

May 29

Fortune cookie

June 1

Think of the faces that define your city. Those iconic personalities: the entertainers, the organizers, the politicos, and now imagine your region has become so unlivable most of them begin a mass exodus alongside many of your friends and neighbors.

My friend Anna Conda was one of San Francisco's fiercest activists and most celebrated entertainers, but was forced out by the city's merciless gentrification. My interview.

June 3

Many people I know and respect lost their fucking minds over Caitlyn Jenner, arguing you had to support her completely or else they were unfriending. For a week or two even mentioning her atrocious politics was off limits. This inspired the following updates:

I'm getting alarmed by this Jenner litmus test and all the unfriending . No, people shouldn't be cruel or offensive but it's fair to point out she is a Republican and hasn't gone out of her way for LGBT rights until ten minutes ago, when it served her personally.
I'm happy for her and the attention she's garnered, but I respect differing opinions.
Is it lost anyone that our new civil war is based on which reality stars we support or oppose?

June 4

House guest arrives.

 June 6

Jay Joern's sensational Summer Soiree

and Nicholas Edward got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

June 15

My Vital Voice piece about Speedbump Sally - the queen who has been run over by multiple men over the years.  

June 20

Kage's friend George Scanlon Jr. often entertained at his historic Alton home on Friday nights, and rather than drive 45 minutes back to St. Louis we would stay in one of his guest rooms. On this Saturday morning I woke before everyone else and walked Brawny on Christian Hill, overlooking the Mississippi. I was long drawn to the Alton and Great River Road area, but now had a group of friends there and loved it more than ever.

June 26

My statement on Marriage Equality

Marriage equality happened because queens rioted at Stonewall and during the White Night in San Francisco, then came out publicly at a time when that meant risking everything, then lobbied lawmakers, donated time and money to political campaigns, and voted, including voting for a supportive president who appointed progressive judges. And those who worked had to work even harder because of those in our community who were apathetic, who thought they were "sending a message" by not voting, or worse, were voting against us.
The amazing and unlikely confluence of events which led us here could never have happened without the tremendous amount of work and sacrifice from those who gave a damn.
While celebrating, please remember to thank those people and remember the ones who did not live to see this day.

June 27

I took this iconic photo of two of the city's most iconic women at the Ultra event.
Rae Nepveux English and Joan Lipkin.

June 28

Housesitting for my friends Ben & Norah when I decided to confuse Kage by placing a mannequin head next to him in bed.

July 1

" Not since Charles Bukowski have I found myself so submerged into the life and times of so many colorful characters. Acclaimed writer Chris Andoe brings a modern flair to such a missing style of literature today. I felt intrigued, enlightened, dirty, amused, outraged, betrayed and in awe of all that is Delusions Of Grandeur."

July 1

Nobody Likes Gassy

I referred to a group of local LGBT criminals as the Snake Pit, and Gassy thought of himself as the muscle of the group. As mentioned earlier he came after me to avenge Demond Johnson's ex, angry about me telling St. Louis Johnson was alive. Gassy was later joined by others including notoriously dishonest drag queen  Buttercotch and by Michael Haley, who has since been sent to prison for crashing into a state trooper and crushing his legs. Haley had shut down an east side strip club that morning, and his seeming indifference haunted the trooper's family. Haley regularly said his motto was "no apologies, no regrets."

Gassy was a disgruntled gas station attendant,  banned from most bars in town for assaulting patrons, but was best known for his headline-making arrest for going down on a small town sheriff.

Not knowing how to come after me directly, he instead gunned for friend and writer Donald Miller, a family man, by finding out where he worked sending harassing letters to his employer. He also tormented Miller with threatening phone calls while Miller was on vacation with his family.

Aside from getting my Facebook account pulled, the only thing he did to me was post drunken rants like the one below - which was posted after he followed his partner to Memphis.

I was tipped off about Gassy having a birthday party at a Benton Park bar earlier in the year and arrived a few hours in advance to ask the bartender to give him a card which read:

"Gassy, you're a horrible person and nobody likes you"
 - Everybody

I was sure he'd know it was me, but for some odd reason blamed friend Thomas Fortenberry.

 July 3

July was one of the biggest months of my life, with the book launch set for the 23rd and reactions already coming in from some of the characters, including Robyn Carolyn Montague, AKA "Rita Revlon" in Delusions of Grandeur.

Rita? RITA? ... What kinda name is that? Never heard of a gun-toting mama called 'Rita' ... yeah, shameless plug for the book ... after all, it perpetuates my legendary status ...

July 9

July 12

Monsoon season finally passed and summer set in, meaning we spent most Sundays poolside at the elegant Tower Grove South home of Chris Kerr and Denny Fiske.

July 14
Cutting it  crazy close, I wait for the proof copy of Delusions to arrive. UPS said the driver couldn't find my address and would try again tomorrow, so I tell them to hold it and I'd pick it up that evening. I arrived and for ten minutes they couldn't find it. Finally it was handed to me, and felt like my first child. The proof copy was filled with formatting issues that needed correcting, but I loved it. I made my notes for Grant at Vital Voice, and the launch order was made with delivery set for THE DAY OF THE EVENT. We were really worried we may have a $30 per person launch with no books.
At the launch I read excerpts from the proof copy, and then I donated it to the St. Louis LGBT History Project.

July 21

July 22

With one day to spare the shipment arrives, and the event is sold out.

July 23
The launch is a success.
Guests are shocked and Darin Slyman runs out the door when the infamous Dustin Mitchell shows up.

Readers react...

Not everyone was happy. Late in the evening we arrived to Keypers to meet Jolene and saw that Buttercotch was there, but she quickly left. Then...

July 28

Delusions of Grandeur is the talk of the city.

Climbing the charts...

August 4

The Vital Voice Voice Your Choice nominees are announced, and regular heckler Butterscotch takes to social media to announce that she doesn't care she wasn't nominated and wouldn't want to be anyway. #Boom contributor Juli Sanning chimes in.

August 8

Arrived to Oklahoma City to find my name in lights. The Ledo Lounge was packed.

August 9 Status Update

Went to see the remains of the Bavinger House. The eccentric man who lived there thought the University of Oklahoma killed his elderly mother while a patient at OU Medical Center, and was coming after him in order to seize the architectural marvel, so he claimed to have destroyed it.
The official line pushed by OU is the house was destroyed in a storm, which makes one wonder what the real story is.
My brother took me to visit the Bavingers many years ago, and I was allowedto roam the incredible house.

Remains of the Bavinger House

August 13

Full house in Tulsa at the Mayo Hotel

August 26, Tower Grove Park

August 29 Status Update 

Pick up the September issue of Vital Voice to read my piece on Jim WashekRandy Oppold's renovation of one of the most storied properties in LGBT St. Louis --the former home of Attitudes owners Jan & Bonnie.

August 21

Feature in St. Louis Magazine 


In honor of the Queen of Camp Alex Braun's final days at Kmart I put out a blue light on the balcony and wrote him a verse.  Braun regularly complained about zero down layaway.

♫ Don't cry for me Layaway Rita. The truth is I'd never trust you. All through your tantrums, your zero down bitch fits, a restock promise. No cash remittance. ♫

September 2

Alton, no filter

September 9

Norwood Square is a neighborhood built atop a quarry turned landfill in the sixties, leading to major settling. 
A few months later I explored the house pictured until I came across wild dogs inside - a shock that felt like a defibrillator to the chest. 

September 17 

One-hour interview on Garrett Miller's Hollywood-based radio show. 

October 1

October was by far the most turbulent month of the year, and there was little doubt that would be the case from day one. 

Rehab co-owner Jim Weckmann sold his half of the bar and Rehab's grande diva Akasha Royale announced a farewell roast. I was on the panel of roasters, as was Mikey Berner - Desmond Johnson's ex. 
Nine months after my revelation that Desmond Johnson was alive, many in the Grove were still angry.

Speaking of anger, Gassy, now an unemployed Memphis house husband, started a Facebook group devoted to covering Memphis in blue ribbons to show support for police officers. He added people to the group, and then in classic Gassy style, berated them. 

October 3

Celebrating David Ray's Birthday at the Brasserie 

October 5

My annual Halloween piece is out. 

Jim Weckmann was known for his strong opinions, so in advance of his roast I wanted to give him room to let it rip, and he certainly did. On the 9th of October I warned St. Louis that the interview would go live in a few hours, and that it would knock wigs back. 

I didn't know the half of it. 

The reaction to that article was like nothing LGBT St. Louis had ever seen. Many loved it, many hated it, but everyone read it. 

"Everyone, and I mean everyone mentioned in that piece is damn near a household name now!" exclaimed Mark Moore or Takemoorepics Photography. 

Things started to jump the rails, however, when those loyal to Buttercotch vowed to disrupt the roast, and some threats went much farther. Butterscotch, who was only one of a dozen or so mentioned (Weckmann said she was bitter, nosey and forgettable) also encouraged people to go after Vital Voice

Of course Butterscotch had been after Vital Voice for some time, since her on-again-off-again partner founded a competing blog. 

When after several days the controversy was still roiling, with threats to harm Weckmann's former bar Rehab, target Vital Voice, and force organizers to cancel Jim's party, I went into full damage control mode. 

Butterscotch and the former associates fanning the flames wanted my head on a platter, so I gave it to them with a piece announcing my resignation. 

My "departure" took much of the wind from the sails of the anti-Rahab-Vital Voice-Weckamnn Roast momentum, and the show did go on - and it was decidedly defiant with co-owner Victoria Rose bringing down the house with "Not Ready to Make Nice." 

I kept a low profile until after the roast, and then I was back with a new base of operations and a viral celebrity interview

October 14

Andoetainment's own (yeah, I claim him) Dustin Mitchell made headlines last year when a St. Louis court granted him an injunction against Boca Raton-based Michael Hansen, CEO of a multilevel marketing company called DubLi. This summer a Florida court ruled in favor of Hansen, finding that the company had no affiliation with Mitchell, didn't defraud him, and owed him nothing. The court also ordered him to remove any posts to the contrary. 

October 30 

Burlesque performers were complaining of shady practices at the new venue Zeven Zero Eight, so I tried to get to the bottom of it. Neither the venue nor the performers were happy with the finished product, but readers said it was fascinating and unbiased. 


With Kage Black and Karen Irwin

November 4

Trying to save San Francisco's Cadillac Hotel, one of the properties in my former portfolio. 

November 13

I'm very excited to receive this card from Coco Peru

November 15 

Former Metro East Pride board members speak out about the elephant in the room. 

November 20 

November 26

Wonderful Thanksgiving with my family. Grateful to be a short drive away. 

November 29

One of the most notorious internet trolls around targets Suzanne Jackson and her grooming business. 


Bitterness consumes Buttercotch in December, and she melts down all over town. It first came to my attention when I heard of a scene she caused at Teighlor Demornay's holiday party. 

Teighlor Demornay, Show Director at Bubby & Sissy's

She read Kenadie St. James for not joining her in denouncing me, Jim Weckamann, and Vital Voice during her campaign in October. She also said she felt betrayed and abandoned by the complete absence of established, high-profile performers like the iconic Krista Versace.

A-List performers like Krista Versace stayed out of Buttercotch's drama.

Butterscotch later caused a drunken scene at Just John, going off on Jolene Gotcha, and on my birthday she couldn't help but leave a bitter comment on a photo Jason Brooks posted.

"Doesn't she know that she's making herself look like a crazy person?" said a concerned friend. 

December 19

After I featured the art of Colby Jack Adams on my wall, my friend Jill Moon Whitworth featured him on the front page of the Telegraph

December 21 

Someone creates a fake Adam Shaw profile and gives me a shout out. 

December 26

The year is not over, but once January hits most of us are focused on looking forward, not back, so I'm posting this now. I'll still add more entries as they arise. 

January 3, 2015 : Just John tentatively lifts the ban on the testosterone-fueled bad boy of St. Louis, Nicholas Edward.

December 27, 2015: The testosterone-fueled bad boy of St. Louis is back in the ban book.