A man who changed his name to ‘Mc Lovin’ says he did it to make people laugh, but it was sparked by a serious event in his life.
Blenheim man Mc Lovin, 34, said he made the decision after a suffering a bout of depression following the sudden death of a friend.
His new name was a daily reminder not to take life too seriously, Lovin said.
“It makes people happy, even if they are taking the piss. They always have to see my licence before they believe me.”
Lovin had been friends with Tim Crowe for about six years when Crowe was found dead on the side of a railway track in London in 2005.
“There was a group of four of us together who were inseparable. Then he started to disappear, hang out with different people. Then one day they found him dead, with no shoes, no wallet, no phone.
“The police said it was not suspicious, saying he must have fallen and hit his head, but it just didn’t make sense to me,” Lovin said.
Lovin, then known as Gary Fisher, struggled with Crowe’s death for two years, he said
“I kept thinking about it and getting really down. It took me a long time to get over it.”
Lovin moved from London to the south coast of England, where he met his partner Lydia Martin, shortly before he decided to change his name.
Mc Lovin was inspired by the movie Superbad, in which a teen gets a fake driver licence with the name Mc Lovin.
Martin did not mind his new name, though she was unlikely to take his last name if they got married.
She had to “put her foot down a few times” while Lovin was coming up with ideas, she said.
One such name was Skeletor Overlord Evil, which Lovin suggested because he liked the idea of being known as Mr Evil, he said.
His mother “thought it was hilarious”, but he did not tell his father until after he moved to New Zealand about three years ago, he said.
“We weren’t supposed to stay here, we were just travelling. But we love it here.
“I know all Brits grizzle about the weather, but the fact that it’s sunny here really does change your outlook on life.”
The first reaction to his name in New Zealand, before he took a job as a refrigeration engineer at Martella, came from a police officer who stopped Lovin’s campervan for a routine check.
“When I handed him my driver’s licence, he couldn’t believe it. He asked if he could take a photo to show the boys back at the station,” Lovin said.
“We got a lot of free drinks when we were backpacking, and people often take the piss. Some people call me McMuffin, because I’ve put on a bit of weight. But I’ve never had a negative response.”
He did not recommend other people struggling with depression change their name, as it’s “not for everyone”, but said big changes in his life helped to change his perspective.
“A lot of it comes down to who you have around you. I’ve got some good friends now, and having those guys around me and my family makes all the difference.
“My advice would be, it’s good to talk about that stuff, don’t bottle it up.”