His name is synonymous with a sport and beloved by a generation of kids who grew up learning to skateboard.
In the early 2000s he became a household name when the title ‘Tony Hawk’ was attached to a video game series that sold 10.7 million copies.
You would have thought the first man to land a 900-degrees spin would have no trouble jetting round the world.
But being named ‘Tony Hawk’ can also be a big problem when you are travelling.
The 50 year old skateboarder tweeted an exchange yesterday after his car rental had been cancelled.
Having waited without any sign of his car booking, he went to the rental office in search of his car and an explanation.
“You really are Tony Hawk” said the mortified rental assistant.
“I deleted it because I thought it was fake.”
At rental car agency, can’t find my name on the monitor to find my car, go inside & wait in line. Finally get to the front, agent sees me & says “you really are Tony Hawk”
Me: um, yes. I was looking for my name outside on the list
Him: “I deleted it because I thought it was fake”
This is not the first time Hawk has had trouble travelling, as his twitter feed can confirm.
Last year he was mistaken by an airport TSA agent for “that cyclist Armstrong!”
Having convinced the security agents that he wasn’t the disgraced cycling champion, and handing over his ID.
They agreed he did look a bit like the skateboarder Tony Hawk. “Same last name too! Crazy!”
TSA agent (staring intently): I’m trying to figure out who you look like before checking your ID.
TSA: that cyclist Armstrong!
Nearby agent: that ain’t Lance Armstrong
Me: he’s right
TSA: oh you look like that skateboarder (checks ID). Same last name too! Crazy!
Another odd effect of having helped popularise a sport so drastically is that people associate his name if not his face with skateboarding.
One flight attendant jokingly noted four skateboards in his carry-on and asked him “is Tony Hawk on this flight or something?”
Even as a human metonym, it’s good to see he still has a sense of humour.
Flight attendant checking overhead bins, sees four skateboards
Him, jokingly: “is Tony Hawk on this flight or something?”
Looks down, sees me
Him: “I guess he is”
Woman on plane retrieving her luggage in the overhead:
“Who’s skateboard is this? It’s blocking my bag”
me: that’s mine, you can pass it here
her: “It’s yours? You ride it?
her: “Are you any good at it?”
her: cackles maniacally, exits plane
Now in his fifth decade, but decidedly still skateboarding, some people seem to be surprised at the sight of a grown man with a skateboard. Particularly if they don’t initially recognise who it is.
He must just be difficult to recognise without a helmet and a skateboard under his arm.
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