In St Ives, Cambridgeshire, the children at the Christmas grotto with Santa were justifiably traumatized when the normally jolly elf came out, ripped off his beard and screamed at them to “get the f**k out.”
A fire evacuation appeared to set off the Santa after a smoke machine at a “family-friendly rave” in the building set off the fire alarms. Families were leaving as instructed, but Santa seemed to come unglued and began ripping off this costume while “raging” at the children and parents.
One mother said that she was compelled to tell her children he wasn’t the “real Santa. He was an imposter and will be going on the naughty list.” The question is whether such action (including screaming profanities at the children) could result in liability for the negligent or intentional infliction of emotional distress. There can be an intentional infliction of emotional distress if there is a showing of recklessness. The elements are (1) the defendant must act intentionally or recklessly; (2) the defendant’s conduct must be extreme and outrageous; and (3) the conduct must be the cause (4) of severe emotional distress.
What do you think?
11 thoughts on “Bad Santa: Children Left Traumatized When Santa Screams At Them To “Get The F**K Out””
Curiously, on my last soujourn through England, I found the word f**k is less shocking to the locals than “bloody” or “bugger”. (To be fair to the denizens of the Scepter’d Isle, “bugger” doesn’t mean “snot” over there, but a repulsive version of what is meant by “f**k”. Calling someone’s child a “cute little bugger” might get you hit hard, or thrown in jail by the local cops)
Bad Santa’s behavior in this case invites a M’Naghten Rule defense. Just saying.
Hmmm. This needs a poem, but not an Irish one. Maybe this:
Just When I Think Ives Seen It All???
A Parody Poem by Squeeky Fromm
When I was going to St. Ives*,
I met seven sets of men and wives**.
Every set had seven brats,
Every brat had seven sacks,
Every sack had seven toys,
Just plastic crap for girls and boys,
Then the smoke alarum*** rang!
Which caused the Santa to harangue,
The people stood there like a schmuck!
Oh, what a Christmas cluster f*ck!
*As I was going to St. Ives, is sort of a math puzzle, or not:
** Apologies to England for genter stereotyping, because who says only men and women can have children. Men can have vaginas, too and wombs.Right?
*** Alarum is an old spelling of alarm (as a noun or a verb), which has stayed around as a deliberate archaism. Possibly it is retained because of its use in Shakespeare’s plays.
Those of us of a certain age can recall when adult women didn’t use profanity and adult men confined it to situations which were strictly stag. I never heard any at all until my adolescent sister began opening up potty-mouthed streaks ca. 1971. It was somewhere around 1974 the inhibition against it collapsed. It was still in place for the worst of it for at least another 20 years.
File under ‘declining standards of classiness”.
I am probably “of a certain age”, likely in your age group.
I remember the girls and women that I knew using that kind of language long before the dates that you mention.
Of course, they knew me too, and that may have accounted for their sporadic bursts of obscene language.😒😏
Maybe he should have instead yelled out, “Make like a hockey player and get the puck out!”
Just can’t get decent temp help anymore.
Fire alarm? By all means leave!
I have to disagree with our host.
So this man became a bit excited and blasted out some words. What would be a worse situation, he does nothing but walk outside alone and if there is a real fire the children cannot exit in time and burn up? That is more traumatizing than hearing the word “fuck”.
I can say without regret that there have been times in my career that I’ve had to yell profanities at people to motivate them to act or behave differently. Better to be affronted than injured or dead.
So if this man chose to pull off a beard and yell “get the fuck out” when a fire alarm goes off, it’s reasonable in my book.
Should this man be civilly prosecuted for what he did? Consider this. If he gets sued for something like this and forced to pay money in his defense do you think it is likely that others won’t take his trials to heart to protect their own interests? And if they see a potential fire about to conflagrate a building full of children he might just think “why should I get sued for sounding the alarm?” and he just walks out without saying anything and lets the children to discover the fire on their own. If that is what we want as a society then by all means cause it to happen by going after this man for doing the right thing.
That is a very good take on this, and different from the idiot in Texas (IIRC).
I think the presence of a fire (or presence of the real possibility of a fire) excuses saying profanities.
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