Feb 182004
Authors: Brooke Harless

While in high school, Tom Conway, a senior recreation and

tourism major, said he had an intense addiction to Canadian strip

clubs. Growing up in New York, he and his friends would often drive

to Canada to visit various clubs.

“We would always go to this one, the Tropicana Gardens, because

there was a dancer there named Monique who was the most gorgeous

woman I had ever seen. She was a wicked-great dancer, too,” Conway


On one trip Conway and his friends had consumed a little too

much alcohol and upon Monique’s entrance on stage Conway was

overtaken with her beauty and agility.

“She was so animated and hot,” said Conway, who decided to

propose to her.

“She had just finished a little bend and snap number and I had

to have her. I had been reading a lot of Jackie Collins and

Nietzsche and that combination of romantic ‘will to power,’ plus

Monique’s physique was too much for me. I called her over with a

twenty and as she was giving me the best lap dance of my life I

proposed to her. She just stared at me, finished the lap dance and

walked away,” Conway said.

As the club was nearing closing time, Monique made her way over

to Conway and took him by the hand.

“She led me out of the bar, and I wish that I could remember

more of the night, but I was so smashed. We talked about our

dreams; Monique was saving money to become a hairdresser. We made

out in her Buick before going to some twenty-four hour wedding

chapel. It was right next to an all-night fish shack, so all I

really remember is smelling fish and puking on the justice of the


After getting married, the two went to Monique’s apartment to

celebrate with a bottle of pink champagne.

“I really don’t remember much of the night. I woke up extremely

hung over, we went out for waffles and just kind of stared at each

other. We didn’t talk about getting married. I wasn’t sure of

exactly what happened at the chapel. We exchanged numbers and

addresses, I then phoned my friends and they came and picked me


Conway returned to New York, where he was a senior in high

school. Two years passed before he received a packet from Canadian


“I flipped through the packet to discover it was divorce papers.

I was initially confused because the name on the papers was Francis

Madenda. Monique must have been her stage name. Anyway I signed all

the papers, but noticed that there was a section that were

guidelines for alimony payments.”

Conway then researched Canadian marriage requirements and ended

up making a trip to Canada to prove that the marriage wasn’t legal

because he hadn’t supplied his birth certificate at the time of the


“I never saw Monique or Francis … whatever, again, but it’s

always fun beginning a story with ‘My first wife,'” Conway


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