That's not the only hiccup:
"Online registrations are canceled within minutes, tables at restaurants are canceled and given to others (makes surprise dates for partners a hassle), and renting a car is even worse," Mann says. One time, "I reserved and rented a car through Enterprise online. Confirmation email and everything in hand. I thought going through Costco Travel would eliminate the usual rigmarole, but I was wrong. A few days before [my trip], I called Enterprise to verify the reservation. The woman on the other side was nice about it, but those familiar words stating that they had canceled the reservation because they thought it was a joke came."
Even after confirming that it was not, "she stated she had remade the reservation but that I had to be on time otherwise it would get canceled again. It was a tentative reservation because they still didn't believe I existed."
And flying? Flying is hard enough for John America. For Spider Mann:
"I'm ALWAYS 'randomly selected' when I fly alone," he says. "I've been patted down aggressively, wanded, had my carry-ons searched extensively, been questioned about why I'm traveling, where I'm traveling, and even randomly selected after passing the first randomly selected pat-down procedure because a different TSA agent felt like it. This has never not happened since I've changed my name, whereas with my old name I was never selected."
"We've read what the papers write about you, menace. Full pat down."
But that's just the price one pays to live awesome, right?
It's not over yet:
"Most of the time, my resumes/applications are thrown away or disregarded because of my name," Mann says. When he does get called in for an interview, it's usually just a joke. "The interviewers want to see if that is my real name or who the person behind the name is, although usually with no intent to actually hire me. I have gotten jobs that started [that way], but only after going over the top to prove my qualifications."
Even then ...
"I have been told that I cannot be given a promotion or a new position because of the perception of someone with my name being in that position, even though I was completely qualified."
To be fair, there's no better way to get hung up on than starting a call with: "Hello, this is Spider Mann ..."
So wait, why on Prince's purple Earth does he not just change it back, or at least to something less outlandish?
"Just saying, 'Peter Parker' is an option ..."
"I've had discussions about this with my current girlfriend, but I am vehemently against changing it to anything else, despite all the issues that arise," he says. "I truly believe that a name is an identity ... I am strong in my feeling that this is the name that fits me and that embodies the type of person I am."
And besides, there are upsides:
"It also brightens a lot of people's days. Every day, no matter what I do, when I meet someone, there is an interaction. I can tell it makes their day that they met someone named Spider Mann."
And you know what? We admire the hell out of that. This guy made an impulsive, ridiculous, life-ruining decision, but by god, he's sticking with it -- because every once in a while, it's hilarious.
Manna is a dumber made-up name than Spider Mann and also has a Twitter.
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