A beloved Santa Claus at Macy's in San Francisco was fired this week after 20 years. The reason? A pair of jokes.
When asking a knee-sitter if they've been good and they said yes, he answered, "Well, that's too bad." And when they asked him why he was so jolly, he answered, "Because I know where all the naughty boys and girls live."
Pretty twisted, right? Meh. Maybe not so much. The "kid" in question was a grown woman. She and her husband complained, and as a result he got fired, the San Francisco Chronicle says. The 68-year-old Saint Nick stand-in, John Toomey, seems like a really sweet guy. He was a caretaker for the elderly before he retired, for god's sake.
"He's totally the best Santa ever, very jolly and very authentic," one of the many visitors and employees who were big fans of the man they called "Santa John" told the Chronicle.
Apparently he's been making the same jokes to his grown-up visitors for decades. For the kids, it's strictly the standard Santa questions.
Macy's officials wouldn't weigh in, saying they couldn't comment on personnel matters. There's definitely a lot of overreacting happening. Lefty O'Douls thought so and they hired him as their Santa.
First of all, adults who pose with Santa? Kind of questionable themselves aren't they? They're not as bad as the grown, childless men who wait in line at Disneyland to have their pictures taken with Sleeping Beauty, but they're not too far off. But even as laid back as I try to be about such things, somehow the "naughty boys and girls" line creeps me out a bit, whoever he said it to.
My kid has always been too terrified to get anywhere near a department store Santa, so it has never been an issue. I never pressed her on it because that's just the sort of thing that would have scared the bejesus out of me in my toddler years. Maybe my kid and I were on to something.
Do you think Santa John should have been fired?
Image via Flickr/KevinDooley