Story Archive

Nice, Not Naughty

John Toomey, 68, has played Santa at the Union Square Macy’s store in San Francisco, Calif., for 20 years. “People make a pilgrimage to see him every year, some for as long as 15 years,” said one store employee. “Everyone loves him.” Not quite everyone: Toomey says when adults visit him while in character, he cracks jokes, but an adult couple complained to store management that his jokes were “inappropriate.” Like what? “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’,” 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.” Toomey was fired. (RC/San Francisco Chronicle) ...And these are grown-ups who sit in men’s laps, in public, in front of kids.
Original Publication Date: 19 December 2010
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 17.

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