If you are reading this, chances are you already know the reasoning behind the name “Tigerclaw.” If you don’t, I really don’t know why or how you found this site. Nonetheless, I figured it might be best to document the story that I tell in person, in written word. If for no other reason than to put something on this page.
As you all know, my last name is Marcoux, which is pronounced mar-koo. Yes, there is an “x” in my name, no it is not pronounced. Now, growing up with this name, I realized that I was going to have to take a certain amount of crap. Mar-cowx, Mar-coox, Mar-so and Mar-coh have all been said in or around my presence, many a time for many a year. For the most part, I shrugged it off and chalked it up to either A: people being sub-par when it comes to pronouncing names and being too shy to actually ask how, or B: people are jerks and like to butcher names on purpose to get their jollies off. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, but I digress.
Now, knowing that I have a difficult last name to pronounce, I never fully grasped just how shitty it was until a couple of years ago. That is when Safeway and Jiffy Lube bent my name over and refused to use a lubricant. Within a mere 72 hours, these two buisnesses combined to not only make me feel really bad about my name and myself, but also to seriously consider changing my name altogether.
It started on a weekend out in Discovery Bay, CA. I was late to a party in town and had to stop by the local supermarket to pick up some adult beverages for said shindig. As I punch in my club card number and prepare for them to call me by one of the aforementioned mutated variations of my last name, I was taken aback, briefly.
The reason being, that when they pulled my receipt out, they took a look at my last name, contorted their face as if they smelled a sour fart, and let out, what can only be described as a flabbergasted groan. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the lady then proceeds to try to pronounce my horrid name regardless. As I reach for the beer and and turn to leave, I hear the soft-spoken woman say, “Thank you Mr. Mangoo, have a good day.”
I froze. I literally stopped in my tracks, swiveled 180 degrees on my heels and walked back up to the lady, who was already well on her way to helping the next person in line with their groceries.
“Excuse me ma’am?” I said, “what did you call me?”
“Mr. Mangoo,” she responded but with less conviction this time around.
“Mr. Mang…okay ma’am? I don’t have an ‘N’ in my name, and I sure as hell don’t have a ‘G.’ But the bigger issue is that you called me ‘mangoo.’ That is the dirtiest thing you can call someone. You essentially just called me jizz,” I continued. “Congratulations, you have butchered my last name beyond all recognition.”
I then walked out with my beer feeling very bad about myself.
By Monday morning, I had pretty much let it go and could, in some ways, see the humor in the faux pas. And as I walked into the Jiffy Lube in San Ramon, California, I realized that things were only going to get better. The reason, of course, is that there was an extremely attractive woman sitting all by herself in the waiting area.
I instantly grew a beard and got muscles while reaching for the nearest sports magazine to prove how manly I actually was while sitting two seats down from her. And as I pretended to care about whether or not Brett Favre was retiring/playing again, the Jiffy Lube guy decides, at this moment, to go ahead and stomp all over my dick and announce that my car is ready to go.
Now typically, the Jiffy Lube people will announce the make and model of the car and wait for the owner to claim their property.
Not this time.
This time, they decide to pronounce my last name, in front of the pretty girl, who actually seemed like she wasn’t 100% disgusted by my presence.
“Mr. MANCOX? MANCOX? MANCOX? Is there a Mr. MANCOX? MANCOX? MANCOX?
And he wouldn’t stop. He was like a loud annoying Ben Stein saying “Bueller” over and over again. Each time reaffirming that there was no chance in hell that this girl would ever date me now. And as I sat there, two seats down from this lady, I could hear her stifle her laughter as this modern-day caveman continued to shit all over me and my name.
If you have ever seen those old cartoons where the character gets angry, and thus, his skin tone changes to a rage level of red, then you know exactly what I looked like at this moment. I tried to save it by turning to the woman and saying, “Is that your husband’s name or something?” Which led to her laughing her ass off and giving me a very direct, “No.”
So I sat up as quickly as I could, motioned to the guy to shut the fuck up, grabbed my keys from him and got the hell out of there as fast as I could. The next five minutes was essentially a blur since I am pretty sure I was stunned, cross-eyed and driving aimlessly around the East Bay contemplating just what in the fuck had happened over the course of three days, and if this was some sort of karma for bad deeds I had participated in, earlier in my life.
And it was at this point, that I figured it out. I would simply go by a different last name. Anything was better than Marcoux, but I reasoned that this was my chance to not only end the humiliation of being called man-jizz and man-dick, but to have a name I choose. Which means it could be anything I wanted.
It had to be easy to say, easy to spell and as a bonus, I decided I would make it manly as all get out.
Enter Mr. Tigerclaw.
Easy to pronounce, easy to spell, and the name is so macho that women’s panties immediately drop when they see and/or hear it. It was perfect. All I needed now was to test it out in some sort of written form nd bask in the glow of awesomeness that was my new name.
I decide that I will try it out at the TGIFridays in Pleasanton. I am friendly with the staff there and they have me fill out some survey to get a “Stripes Reward Card.” Well, tigers have stripes, and with my new last name being what it was, I took it as a sign. I filled out the survey, provided the information needed to get my reward card and signed it “Samuel Tigerclaw.”
I smiled triumphantly as I handed the sheet of paper over. Knowing full well that in three to four weeks time, I would have a tangible piece of plastic sporting my new last name of kickassery.
Then it happened.
And by “it,” of course, I mean my life. I get my card, and look at the last name. “Tigerclaw.” For a brief second, I was happy. It felt right. Having been instantly inflated with a sense of pride, I almost failed to look at the first name. As my eyes shifted slightly to the left, my worst nightmare had come true.
Not Samuel, but Sameul. Most likely pronounced Suh-mool. They had flip-flopped the e and the u in my name to come up with Sameul.
Really? Sameul Tigerclaw? Did this really just fucking happen? Sameul Tigerclaw? I feel like I am going to fight Frodo for the ring with that name. Sameul? What am I? A delicious camping treat?
I simply cannot fucking win. And to top it off, I tell a friend of mine about my new last name thinking that she would be impressed. Her response was the following, “Tigerclaw? That sounds like a doughnut.”
Much to my chagrin, the bitch was right. It did sound like a doughnut.
Needless to say, I have given up on developing my own, manly, easy to say name. Since regardless of what I come up with, it will inevitably lead to further ridicule, scorn and butcherings.
And thus, a blog was born.