By sending $29.95 to "one of those hokey 'Locate Your Family's Coat of Arms' ads in a magazine," Mike Seate learned that his ancestors were Scottish. But the black Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writer was unconvinced. He considered trading his slave surname for an African name, but a man he met at a Scottish pub had a better idea.
"What you need, lad," one grizzled local opined, "is one of those Japanese surnames." His friends all nodded in unison. "Who cares about your great-gran's problems. Get yourself a Japanese name and people will assume you've got a degree in math and a sharp mind before they even lay eyes on you." [Link]