For a few days, I was "Mr. Freedom," and all of life's usually unfriendly characters—from bureaucrats at the Department of Motor Vehicles to bouncers at bars—were surprisingly amiable. What a difference a name makes.
My adventure began after an official at the DMV mistakenly transcribed my last name on my new driver's license as "Freedom," rather than "Freedman." I only discovered the error later in the day when a bank teller looked at my license, which I presented as ID, and said with a smile: "Great name, Mr. Freedom. How are you today?"