[Photo from news.co.au]
Apparantly workers at shopping centers in Australia are just realizing that Santa is scary. Westaff, the company that supplies hundreds of santas across Australia has been asked to "tone it down" because of the terror that some kids are experiencing when coming into contact with the big red jolly man. They have, specifically required that no Santa will be allowed to exclaim "Ho, Ho, Ho", a phrase that is particularly traumatic for the kids to hear because it is so unfamiliar to them. Instead, they can utter "Ha, Ha, Ha" which the they believe will be better recepted. Newsflash: Santa is scary. Always has been and always will be. Changing what he says does NOT change the face that there is a fat old man covered in fur who everyone is coaxing junior to sit on and suck up to...changing what jolly St. Nick says is not going to change this. And secondly, who the hell hasn't been scared by a Santa at one point or another...or a clown, or a giant Barney, or the Easter Bunny, or the Wiggles, or any other giant character that adults get into to try and manipulate children into enjoying themselves. It is a part of growing up, adds some hair to your skin, and is not going to end any time soon. As "grownups" we just can't help ourselves, we want to play dress up too and use "it's for the kids" as an excuse for this silly behavior. Our advice to the Santa managers in Australia: scary santas are the least of your problems, so let them do their thing, because you're going to need to save all your manpower when those Wiggles characters come to town.