He hated his name and always had. I mean, Tit-Bit Knipply. Really? No, really? His mom had always said it was, “a family name. You should be proud of it. It makes you better than the other kids.” His dad just snickered. Asshole.
Just imagine going to kindergarten with that name. At least once they got past the learning-to-write-your-full-name-part, the teacher was able to just call him Tit. Oh, yeah, that was so much better. Later on, the kids didn’t really even have to try to come up with jokes. Titty Knitty. Itsy Bitsy Kinnpsly. Just plain Tit-Bit. Like that wasn’t enough.
When he was 18, he had tried to have his name changed. He took the form to the clerk. She wouldn’t believe that was his real name. He even showed her his birth certificate. She threatened to have him arrested for fraud. The bailiff came into the office to see what was going on.
“So, Tit-Bit, you want to be Bob Smith? Get the hell out of here, kid. It was funny for a few minutes, but now you’re just wasting time.”
And so, Tit-Bit Knipply went to college. Every frickin’ class the professor would read the roster and just stop when he reached his name. You could tell he was trying to figure out if it was a joke or if he was really supposed to read it. Tit-Bit would just raise his hand, get the professor’s attention, give a little nod. Some of them still felt the need to read it. Some of them just snickered. One little old lady English Lit professor actually snorted.
He didn’t even bother to go through rush. Hazing? Yeah, he had that one covered. Dating? Not often and every girl he went out with just giggled as soon as she looked him in the eye and tried to say his name during a normal conversation. Just as well it never got to the point of one of them crying out his name during a moment of passion. That would have been the end of it for both of them. Best mood killer ever.
Finally, he graduated. After that last humiliating walk across the stage as Dean Jordan called his name – the man actually turned red – he was done with it. There was no way in hell he was going to try to get a job with that name. Just because he had graduated at the top of his class, no serious employer would be able to sit through an interview.
He settled on being TB Knipply. Bad enough, but still better than the whole name. Every thing was good until he interviewed with Google. They had googled him. They knew. They made the interview a living nightmare. He didn’t break down crying. They hired him. So at least there was that.
He met a girl and things went well. Mindy had asked him what TB stood for. He told her it didn’t – his parents just had a weird sense of humor so they just went with TB. When was she going to meet them? Never.
He proposed, and she said yes. Everything was perfect, better than he had ever thought it could be. And then they went to get the marriage license. He had to fill out the form with his full legal name. Mindy had filled out her part first. He tried not to let her see his, and it might have worked if the lady behind the desk hadn’t actually started laughing so hard that she cried. Mindy ripped the form up right there. She kept the ring.
He had decided to live the rest of his life alone. No woman would ever want to be Mrs. Tit-Bit Knipply. No kid would want to deal with all those times the dad’s name could come up. He would be the last of his line.
Then he met Ima Krakhore. They bonded. They shared a painful past. She was even willing to take his last name. She actually begged to. He had never been so happy. It was really true love.
They didn’t send out many invitations, but the ones they did ended up being collector’s items.
request your presence at the celebration
of their union
1:00 pm Saturday, June 5
The National Ornamental Metal Museum