London, Dec 8 (ANI): US department store Macy's has fired a popular Santa Claus in San Francisco after he told a naughty joke that the adults did not find funny.
John Toomey, 68, who had been working for more than 20 years, was given the boot after store bosses acted on the complaint.oomey insists he has been telling the slightly off-colour joke for years without a problem.
"When I ask the older people who sit on my lap if they have been good and they say, 'Yes,' I say, 'Gee, that's too bad'," the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.
"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," he stated.
But the retired caretaker told the San Francisco Chronicle he has never made the crack when children sit on his lap.
"Everything was going okay until this couple came in. I don't know why they reported me. I don't think I said anything untoward," he said.
"With the children, it's important to listen carefully to them and make sure they're doing things properly, like brushing their teeth, helping mum around the house, things like that.
"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, and the joking around like I did is only for the adults," he added.
But staff said the veteran Santa was being sorely missed.
"People make a pilgrimage to see him every year, some for as long as 15 years. Everybody loves him. Everybody's just heartsick about this," one worker said. (ANI)