Bah humbug, Six Flags Over Texas.
Jerry Henderson of Burleson, Texas, has been visiting the park almost every weekend for three years to walk around and exercise with his wife. And it’s never been a problem. That is, until last weekend, when officials asked him to leave. Jerry, you see, has snow white hair and long white beard and little rimless spectacles and looks suspiciously like a jolly old elf who lives at the North Pole – and that is apparently a no-no at Six Flags over Texas..
From the New York Post:
“This ain’t a costume,” Henderson told CBS Dallas-Fort-Worth of his signature, Santa-like look which he says he’s maintained for almost two decades. During the holiday season, he wears a red vest and Santa hat, too.
“I go to Walmart like this. This is me,” he said. “I enjoy making kids smile.”
The trouble began when a park visitor approached him to pose for a picture with her children.
“[I] knelt down, put my arms around them, and afterward I reached in my wife’s walker, pulled out two candy canes, handed it to them,” Henderson said of the encounter.
DING! DING! DING! STRANGER DANGER! CALL THE SECURITY! SOMEONE IS SPREADING UNSANCTIONED HOLIDAY CHEER!
A park security staffer soon approached and immediately told the Kris Kringle lookalike that he was no longer welcome.
“’We’re gonna have to ask you to leave’,” Henderson says the guard told him. “I said, ‘For what reason?’ He said, ‘You look too much like Santa Claus.’ And I’m like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ I do not approach kids. The parents come to me.”
Henderson claims he then offered to take off his hat and promised to stop handing out any treats but says the park manager told him that wouldn’t be enough—he’d have to get rid of the beard, too.
Six Flags released the following statement:
“We apologize that Mr. Henderson was inconvenienced, but the safety of our guests is always our highest priority. We cannot knowingly allow individuals who are not approved by the park to interact with small children in this capacity. Mr Henderson was handing out candy to our younger guests and was dressed up as Santa which is in violation of our No Costume policy. When asked to change he refused and at that point was asked to leave.”
What’s next Six Flags? Kicking out babies for looking like the New Year baby? Strangling errant bunny rabbits that accidentally hop into the park for looking like the Easter Bunny?
SAY NO TO SANTA SHAMING!