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Joke Gets Santa Claus Fired From Macy’s

From an irony proof San Francisco Chronicle:

‘Naughty’ joke gets Santa Claus fired from Macy’s

Kevin Fagan, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO — Santa Claus has been canned from Macy’s, and he’s anything but jolly about it.

His fans aren’t happy, either. And there are many.

John Toomey, known for 20 years at the Union Square Macy’s in San Francisco as "Santa John," was told Saturday he’ll have to take his "ho, ho, hos" elsewhere because an adult couple complained about a joke he cracked.

The joke has been in his Santa bag for decades. But after thousands of tellings, the 68-year-old retired caretaker for the elderly finally hit the wrong recipients – apparently an older woman and her husband, who considered it inappropriate.

Toomey – who stays in Oroville most summers and winters in San Francisco while he does the kiddie-on-the-knee gig – said he’d never had complaints before about the joke, which he saves for the occasional grown-up who visits him.

"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 Monday.

"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."

The kids who sit on his lap, he said, get only his trademark laugh and questions about what toys they want.

Bear in mind, this man is being fired for making such innocuous jokes to adults – in San Francisco.

Macy’s spokeswoman Betsy Nelson said the store cannot comment because the matter involves personnel.

But several workers used words including "devastated" and "overreaction" to describe their take on Santa John being booted from his throne at Santaland on the seventh floor. They all asked not be named because store policy forbids them from speaking publicly about such matters, but their un-yule-ish gloom was palpable.

"People make a pilgrimage to see him every year, some for as long as 15 years," said one worker. "Everyone loves him. Everybody’s just heartsick about this."

It would appear that life is imitating art. Isn’t this just a variation on the plot of ‘Miracle On 34th Street’? Though we suspect it won’t have quite as happy an ending.

There’s no doubt Toomey takes seriously the responsibility that comes with the red hat.

"With the children, it’s important to listen carefully to them and make sure they’re doing things properly, like brushing their teeth, helping Mom around the house, things like that," Toomey said. "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.

"It’s an important job," he said, "and the joking around like I did is only for the adults."

Apparently, you can do anything you want in San Francisco – except be jolly.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, December 7th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Joke Gets Santa Claus Fired From Macy’s”

  1. proreason says:

    With liberalism, the joke’s on us.

  2. NoNeoCommies says:

    If we fire someone for their off-color remarks when not addressing those they are hired to deal with, then most of Congress needs to go (the Prez too).

  3. bobdog says:

    But…but…somebody might be OFFENDED by it!

  4. Right of the People says:

    Another retailer off my shopping list. I hope Walmart doesn’t pull any crap like this, I don’t know where we’d go if they did.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Amazon will gladly do business with you and you don’t have to deal with turd polishing PC hacks.

  5. artboyusa says:

    Liberals quick to find offence? Liberals deficient in the sense of humor area? Shocking…

  6. U NO HOO says:

    If it was a joke about a nun and a priest the joke would be OK!

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