As Marcuse Marx sat on the bus and calmly gazed out on the streets passing by he thought about his father and smiled. Marcuse’s life had been a life blessed with good fortune, and it was to his father that Marcuse was indebted. For his Dad, God bless his soul, had christened him with the name Marcuse – which, together with the family name Marx, had given Marcuse a certain leg-up on the others. Marcuse Marx! It had a ring to it. His name stood out. Teachers liked to call out his name. Army drill sergeants loved to bark it out. As a salesman his name opened doors.
In no way whatsoever was he related to either Karl Marx or Groucho Marx, nor to the 20th century German philosopher of the same first name.
It was a good thing he had a good name because Marcuse’s talents, in particular his intelligence, were not exactly sterling. He was not the sharpest knife in the drawer, as they say. And he knew it. He wasn’t that stupid. He knew he wasn’t a genius. But, thanks to his name, he had always been able to get jobs, always had made a decent living, always had been able to keep his head above water. At several points in his life he had been almost wealthy. Marcuse Marx was also lucky. At least he had been lucky so far. A lucky guy. “Thank you, Dad,” he muttered softly as the bus rolled on.