Macy’s Fires Santa!
Why on earth did Macy’s fire Kris Kringle?
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas has come early this season. And he’s in San Francisco.
A long-time Santa in Macy’s Union Square store was fired this week because he made “dirty jokes” to adults who sat on his lap.
Want to hear the X-rated material? John Toomey said he normally asked adults if they’d been good. If they’d been good, he says, “Gee, that’s too bad.” If they then ask why Santa’s so jolly, Toomey says, he replies, “Because he knows where all the naughty boys and girls live.”
Excuse me? I don’t think they rate as even risqué jokes. They’re really bad jokes, of course, but that wasn’t what the adult couple who complained told Macy’s.
Toomey insisted that he never makes a remark like that to children but simply asks them if they’ve been good and have done all they’re supposed to, like brushing their teeth. “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.”
How horrible! Get him out of here right now!
The firing of Toomey, 68, who’s played Santa for 20 years, left some employees baffled and angry. “Everyone loves him,” a Macy’s worker told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Everybody’s just heartsick about this.”
This is the second time the Macy’s chain has been involved with firing a guy in a red suit. In the 1947 movie Miracle on 34th Street, they booted the eccentric Kris Kringle, who turned out to be the real Santa Claus. Nobody’s saying that’s the case with Toomey, but it’s still unfair. Even if the three-year-olds waiting to see Santa heard those jokes, and it’s doubtful they did, they would sail right over the kids’ heads.
Toomey wasn’t out of work long, though – he’s got a gig at Lefty O’Doul’s, a nearby restaurant, at twice the salary. He’s going to be in residence from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. every night until Christmas Eve. And a Lefty’s spokesman said that Toomey’s contract allows him to tell jokes.
Let’s hope he doesn’t get any nasty adult customers. And by the way, what is up with adults who sit on Santa’s lap? As far as we’re concerned, it’s Santa who should be afraid of them.
Jane Farrell is a senior editor at BettyConfidential.