Dirty joke Santa has the last laugh on Macy's

I've never been a big fan of a Santa Claus, an overweight and over jolly figure of forced fun who is accorded a Christ-like status in western society at Yuletide.

If you don't believe me go up to random five-year-old in the nearest shopping mall and tell him or her, you don't believe in God. Then tell the kid Santa doesn't exist.

We all know which statement's most likely to end up with a hangbag belonging to the child's mother embedded in your forehead.

I don't fall for the myth that fat men with white beards are all jolly and avulcular. The only guy I can think of who looked like Santa was Ernest Hemingway who blew out his brains with his favorite shotgun.

In saying that I had to feel for 68-year-old John Toomey, who worked as Santa for 20 years at Macy's in downtown San Francisco.

Toomey was fired this weekend after a couple complained about his rude joke.

When I first heard this story I thought he might have been telling the joke about the panda addicted to one night stands; you know the one; he eats shoots and leaves.

In fact Santa's rude joke went thus.

“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 told the San Francisco Chronicle.

He added: “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.”

Pause to absorb the shock...

We don't know the identity of the complaining couple but we can image what Mr. and Mrs. Complainter are like; so anal that they probably spend half their life half way up their large intestine without realizing it, I imagine.

And what exactly does this say about the grinches who stole Christmas at Macy's?
Macy’s did not return requests for comment, surprise, surprise.

I'd like to think a sense of humor failure of this magnitude would not occur in Britain where we pride ourselves on the ability to laugh at ourselves. But maybe it would.

At least this story had a happy and festive ending. Toomey was offered dozens of new jobs after his dismissal became public. He has now accepted a job as Santa for a local pub, Lefty O’Doul’s, to help with its annual fire department toy drive.

He's getting twice as much as what Macy's paid and he can eat and drink as much as he wants, although I imagine the panda joke or getting so legless he throws up on small children is off limits.



  1. When I am next in San Fran, Lefty O'Douls will be my pub of choice!

  2. Seeing Santa barf on a toddler would be the best Christmas ever!

  3. He got fired for that? Some people have nothing better to do.

  4. Well, I'm glad it had a happy ending. Some Santas have all the luck. When I last worked in a fancy mall, my male colleagues and even my boss were all jonesing to have Santa's job. Apparently at that mall he earned $80,000 per year, plus benefits, for working from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Keep in mind this guy was a professional Santa, though -- no fake beard or paunch, with an amazing handmade costume -- and he arrived via helicopter on Thanksgiving Day and landed on the roof where we could all see his triumphal descent through the skylights. What money won't do...

  5. I don't know. I think there's more to the story that Santa and the couple haven't been honest about. Why would an adult couple sit on Santa's lap in the first place? Why does he welcome this? Is this standard practice? This Jewish girl wants to know. xo

  6. Hey Lidia - I'm with you Lefty's sounds a lot more fun than Macy's. It would be sort of funny Rabbit, as long as it wasn't my toddler. Really Marnie; serious sense of humor failure. Ok Meredith, I am totally in the wrong job. Hmm - not sure they were on his knee Robyn, but you never know with Christians eh?

  7. Santas are right up there with clowns for me.

    But I am happy he found his place!

  8. I just don't care about the jokes. I just think its a little creepy that someone came up with the idea that little kids are being taught to sit on Santa's lap and if they behave they get presents.

  9. Pfft, pretty mild joke if you ask me. Much uproar over nothing at all.


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