Thursday, December 09, 2010
Santa fired for telling risque jokes
A department store in the US has fired its Father Christmas after he told risqué jokes to two "older" shoppers. John Toomey, a veteran Santa at Macy's for 20 years, was dismissed after the couple made a complaint about his brand of humour. But 68-year-old Mr Toomey, who worked at the San Francisco Union Square store, claims he is no "bad Santa".
He says he only tells jokes to the grown-ups who visit him - none of whom have ever complained before. "When I ask the older people who sit on my lap if they've been good and they say 'yes', I say 'Gee, that's too bad', Mr Toomey said. "Then, if they ask why Santa is so jolly, I joke that it's because I know where all the naughty boys and girls live."
Mr Toomey, who is called Santa John by his fans, insists he would never use inappropriate humour with the many children who visit the store. "With the children, it's important to listen carefully to them and make sure they're doing things properly, like brushing their teeth and helping Mom around the house, things like that," said Mr Toomey. "Then when they tell you what they want, repeat it loudly enough so the parents can hear, and tell the child you'll talk it over with Mrs. Santa and the elves. That way you leave it up to the parents."
The sacked Santa, who boasts his own white beard, was a big hit with customers who returned every year to see him. Macy's has refused to comment on the incident, although employees have described the sacking as "devastating". Mr Toomey need not be too worried, though - is sacking has given him celebrity status and he has received calls from all over the country to appear as Father Christmas.