In a scene that seems like it would fit right into a Billy Bob Thornton movie, a Massachusetts mall Santa has been arrested after being charged with groping a teenager playing an elf.
Not exactly the kind of news anyone wants to hear as they go into the holiday season, is it? We're supposed to be thinking the twinkle in Santa's eye comes from the joy of giving -- or at the very least too many candy canes -- not pervy thoughts about girls more than 40 years his junior.
Herbert Jones is 62, and his alleged victim is just 18! The teenager claims Jones pinched her butt cheek and told her, "I wish you were a few years older and I was younger."
I mean, I guess at least he didn't say "a few years younger," but still. This claim indicates he knew she was young, and, well, ewwww!
Right now Jones is innocent until proven guilty, folks, but I think I know what you're all thinking. It can't be far off from what I'm thinking!
If this is true, and he looked at an 18-year-old that way, what would he be thinking about the girls slightly younger than her? The girls who were voluntarily sitting on his lap, thinking he was just a nice old man with a real white beard?
What does any mall Santa think of the kids when he signs up for the gig? Or, more to the point, what are his motives for picking a job that can't pay that much and forces you to deal with whining kids all day?
I hate being this cynical, folks.
I want to believe that most mall Santas are like the man who dresses up as the jolly old guy every year in my town, who I know I can trust not to be thinking naughty thoughts when my kid is perched on his lap.
But then I go to the news, and guys like Herbert Jones pop up. Maybe he didn't do it. I hope not. But then again, there are just too many sickos out there. We read about them every single day.
'Tis the season, huh?
Jones is facing an indecent assault and battery charge, and no matter what happens with his court case, a judge has banned him from dressing up as Santa in any capacity this holiday season.
Does this put a damper on the holidays for you? What do you think of mall Santas as a whole?
Image via police