Free-Range Kids

Man Told to Leave Six Flags Because He Looked Too Much Like Santa Claus

The park does not allow unapproved individuals to interact with children.



A man who looks too much like Santa was forced to leave Six Flags in Arlington, Texas, because the park does not "knowingly allow individuals who are not approved by the park to interact with small children in this capacity."

What disgusting thing had the man, Jerry Henderson, done? CBSDFW reports that a mom walking by had asked him to pose for a picture with her kids, and Henderson cheerfully complied:

"[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," recalled Henderson.

Since when do we allow any male to put his arm around any child, even if his wife is there, even if the kids' mom is there, even if he has a belly that shakes when he laughs like a bowl full of jelly?

Since never. Think of the children. A stranger touched them for several seconds. They may never recover.

Sorry, St. Nick, but the only behavior males should exhibit around children is stony-faced oblivion while running in the opposite direction.

Having behaved like a jolly old elf, Henderson says he was approached by park security official, who told him he had to leave.

I said, 'For what reason?' He said, 'You look too much like Santa Claus.' And I'm like, 'Are you kidding me?'"

Mr. Henderson, the authorities do not joke about Christmas. Christmas is a very serious matter, best celebrated with a few background-checked relatives, preferably female. And no gifts, either. (Grooming.)

For safety's sake, Mr. Henderson, ideally you should spend the holiday by yourself, away from all living things, except maybe your wife, in a room with a security camera. And kill the beard.

Merry Christmas to all (except adult males)!

NEXT: Bouncy Houses and American Idol: How Local Governments in Pennsylvania Blew Drilling Tax Revenue

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  1. I am reliably assured that there are millions of rape-age males in this country living within 10 miles of children, from coast to coast.

    1. I am only feet from children. Call the police!

  2. Nobody tell park security that Santa Claus isn’t real. Leave the wonderment intact.

  3. It’s shit like this that keeps me from “ho, ho ho”ing in public three months of the year.

    1. Do NOT say “Ho, ho, ho”…

      Else if Tiger Woods (or Bill Clinton, or Anthony Wiener) is anywhere near you, he’ll get all excited, and run around, saying, “Where, where, where?!?!”

  4. Having behaved like a jolly old elf, Henderson says he was approached by park security official, who told him he had to leave.

    To be clear, Santa is a human and not an elf. Although as Shakespeare once wrote, “This above all: to thine on elf be true.”

    Carry on.

    1. Are you challenging the canonical poem “A Visit from Saint Nicholas”?

      He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old *elf,* [emphasis added]
      And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself

      And if you consult Tolkien, you’ll find that Elves can be just as big as humans. I don’t know if Tolkien had a bearded, fat elf in his works, but he didn’t rule it out.

      As for your Shakespeare pun, it’s not even wrong.

      1. The poem describes St. Nick as small as well: “When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
        But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer, With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
        I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.”.

        Though it’s hard to reconcile with the historical St. Nicholas who probably was a normal sized human and not a magical elf.

        1. OK, then –

          He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old dwarf
          And he laughed a lot, unlike, say, Whorf.

          1. I’ll just stick with the original and not think about it too much. A fine effort, though.

            I do quite like the poem. My favorite little bit of language in there:

            “As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
            When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
            So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
            With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.”

      2. I don’t know if Tolkien had a bearded, fat elf in his works, but he didn’t rule it out.

        So shameful was the love of Legolas and Gimli, that no man dared speak of the hideous offspring that was the cursed fruit of their lusts.

        1. Tolkien did have a bearded elf in Lord of the Rings (Ciridan the Shipwright, at the very end). But he wasn’t described as fat.

          He also had a vaguely Santa-like character in Tom Bombadil – bearded, jolly, and giving away gifts from the broken barrow.

  5. a mom walking by had asked him to pose for a picture with her kids

    You’ll never guess what happened next!

    and Henderson cheerfully complied:

    OMG what a creeper!

    1. You are just jealous.

  6. Did park security at least check to see if Henderson had a boner after hugging those kids? That’s the only way to be sure.

    1. “Is that a yule log in your pants or are you just happy to be hugging children?”

      1. He’s got a belly full of KY jelly.

        1. Humpity hump hump, humpity hump hump, Santa’s on his waaaayyy!
          Humpity hump hump, humpity hump hump, he’ll take you in his sleigh!

      2. I don’t have a log. I’m not saying I have a log in the sense that you thought that I said.. Is it hot in here?

    2. If he’s not a minor himself, why bother checking his junk?


    Your website is currently suffering some sort of memory leak on Chrome. When I open an H&R article today, it keeps consuming more and more memory, up until the point I have to kill it because the computer is beginning to bog down because there’s a single process consuming several gigs of memory.

    What’s up with that?

    1. The Javascript on this site is awfully iffy. I can’t even use Firefox for this site or it slows down so much that it is annoying.

    2. Russian hackers.

    3. Two words.

      Ad Block.

      You will be amazed at the difference.

      1. I guess I’m weird, but I consider ad blocking a form of theft, so I don’t do it.

        1. I do too, but I donate to the sites I frequent, so I figure it evens out.

        2. You can compromise by just doing flashblock. That made a world of difference on for me.

        3. I’m weird in that I consider malware infections from compromised ad servers an even bigger form of theft.

        4. Reason is one of those websites that never found the sweet spot between monetizing pageviews and creating an acceptable user experience. This site, unfiltered, is an abomination.

          1. This. Prior to installing an adblocker and ghostery, loading any page on Reason would render Firefox unusable for 90 seconds or more and would bounce around like a toddler with a pixie stick for another 2 minutes after. Now it’s down to 15 seconds and 45 seconds respectively.

          2. But did she ever find out why the crowd was cheering?!

            1. Did the other girl ever realize the cameraman was still filming?

              God, those clickbaits are just the worst.

          3. It actually works better than some other sites which I’ve tried to use without adblock. Reason passes the acceptability test for me.

            What bugs me is that there’s another site I frequent where the main proprietor makes a big deal about how adblocking is theft, but the ads are horrible-autoplay video/audio, stuff that sometimes blocks the actual text I want to read, and flashplayer garbage that makes my browser slow to crawl. I simply cannot use the site without disabling ads.

  8. The man was Nick Gillespie.

  9. I have a hard time blaming the park for this. I imagine their liability insurance provider has made this mandatory.

    1. Yeah, I’m shocked to discover businesses are unhappy with random people showing up and pretending to be one of the employees when interacting with other customers.

      1. Was he pretending to be an employee?

        I assumed he just ‘beard and mustachioed obese man in swimsuit’.

        Like if I walked up to you at a restaurant and said, “Hey, aren’t you Stormy Dragon? Do you mind if my kids take a picture with you?” The park’s got fuck all to do with your appearance and my suppositions forced ejection being among the most idiotic of solutions.

        1. The article notes that he is intentionally trying to look like Santa Claus, including wearing a special Christmas vest and handing out candy canes. In a context of an amusement park, I’m sure most of the parents are mistaking him for a character actor hired by the park.

          I don’t think he has ill intent, but I also think that guy knows exactly what he’s doing and I’m not surprised the Park doesn’t like it.

          1. Though he did offer to not wear that hat and such according to the video. He refused to shave his beard though. So it’s not him refusing to change.

        2. Watch the video. He’s clearly doing it intentionally.

          1. Then I’d say it’s a bit disingenuous on Lenore’s part. Her article makes it sound like ‘Jolly fat man asked to leave amusement park.’ when the story is more like ‘Amateur Santa Troll/nuisance asked to leave amusement park.’

            Still, better the policy be something like “Don’t give/take candy from strangers.” or something rather obviously liability-related rather than the “We don’t take kindly to Santa in these parts.” portrayal.

            1. If you don’t have a non-costume policy, pretty soon you’re going to be overrun with renn-faire geeks, cosplayers, and furries.

              1. Yeah, IMO, Lenore’s poisoned the well as far as I’m concerned.

                I didn’t and won’t watch the video, but I don’t consider a hat and vest a costume and see a distinct difference between furries, SCA-types, etc. especially regarding reasonable expectation of decorum or whatever.

                1. I didn’t and won’t watch the video

                  I did. He is obviously dressing like Santa intentionally, and he doesn’t deny it. Despite Lenore’s protestations, I see nothing wrong with him being kicked out if he’s taking pictures with kids and handing out candy canes.

                  Of course, the better thing to do would be to hire him as a volunteer (for the background check) and let him have at it. It’s free for Six Flags, and he gets to feel like he’s doing the kids a service.

              2. **shudders**

            2. “Man told to leave Six Flags because he dressed up like Santa and started handing out candy to kids.”


            3. “Man told to leave Six Flags because he dressed up like Santa and started handing out candy to kids.”


            4. Doesn’t seem like he was being a troll or a nuisance. But I can understand the park’s reaction anyway. There is some potential for liability or at least big headaches.

              1. candy cane sales plummeting…

    2. Yeah, I don’t think I would have asked him to leave, but I would have asked him to not play Santa while in the park.

      1. The park didn’t initially ask him to leave either:

        When asked to change he refused and at that point was asked to leave.

        1. Supposedly they asked him to shave.

        2. Yeah, this over the line on Lenore’s part, IMO.

          I’m all for shaming them for fearing clowns or child predators or whatever. But libertarian-wise, he was given multiple opportunities to comply with the proprietorship, failed to do so, and was escorted from the property. The fact that he was Santa bears little difference than if he were a belligerent drunk or a plain old obnoxious asshole.

          1. I agree, as far as rights of a private institute to act basically how they choose.

            From a societal standpoint, the question of why we are so scared of people like this.

            And then also, we can look at this from a litigious standpoint, that it’s a strange state to be in that if a parent lets her child interact with a person there, and something happens the business is responsible.

            And just in general, it seems sad. But Six Flags is just reacting to the times and in their best interest, so it’s hard to get too angry at them.

            How libertarian is Lenore though? Outside of her view of fighting against over dependency in children these days, does she hold otherwise libertarian views?

            1. It’s hard to tell how libertarian she is in other ways. Though she seems at least libertarian-ish.

              She does have a pretty broad audience with Freerange Kids. Perhaps she deliberately keeps her personal political views to herself to avoid alienating parts of her audience.

        3. According to the park, they asked him to “change”, which could mean a lot of things. According to Santa, they also asked him to shave, which IMO would be way over the top if it actually happened. Getting at what actually was said is probably impossible at this point. I still think, based on what we know at this point, that kicking him out was a bit harsh. If new evidence comes out, I may change my opinion.

          There must have been something he was wearing to trigger the Santa reflex, at the least. I see lots of older guys with long white beards around, but they don’t get asked for pictures because they are wearing biker jackets.

          1. Go watch the video. He was wearing the traditional santa hat and a Victorian suit type thing.

        4. Except he did offer to change, but the park supposedly asked him to shave his beard, which he then refused. So there was a middle working area as well.

  10. “We caught a male suspect hugging children and giving them candy. He resembled a known foreign pervert who obsessively monitors the behavior of children, gives them gifts, and asks them to sit in his lap. For the safety of the public, we took appropriate action.”

  11. If someone asked me to leave Six Flags my answer would be simple: “What the hell do you think I am doing?”

    1. “Certainly, and I will take my full refund on the way out”

    2. “The moose at the gate should have told you the park was closed to Santa pervs.”

  12. Someone is going on the naughty dickhole list.

  13. So, I don’t see OMWC around anywhere.

    1. The children wouldn’t have survived with their sanity intact.

      They’d wander around screaming JEWCOCK! JEWCOCK!

  14. If he was actually trying to play Santa and wasn’t just an old guy with a beard, I don’t think the park is being terribly unreasonable.

    I do think it is a terrible thing that any adult man who enjoys interacting with children is viewed with suspicion, though.

    1. Watch the video. He’s wearing the actual Santa Hat. He just claims it’s not a Santa costume because he wears it every day.

      1. I believe you, but can’t be bothered to watch.

        I’ll call it unfortunate, but not unreasonable on the park’s part. They have a lot to lose if something bad does happen. And a right to make whatever policies they want.

        1. Yeah, this was a dog of an article by Lenore. It happens.

          1. Maybe it’s a sign that Lenore is succeeding if she’s having to stretch to find new outrages to right about.

            1. Sure, why not? I like a little optimism from time to time.

              1. This could also just be NYC versus Dallas, presumably if you go far enough into West Virginia the rape of children is actively disregarded.

            2. If that was on purpose, it’s brilliant.

    2. I do think it is a terrible thing that any adult man who enjoys interacting with children is viewed with suspicion, though.

      I’ll just leave this here.

      WARNING: Language, NSFW

      1. That says it quite well.

  15. And no gifts, either. (Grooming.)

    Well, in fairness it was grooming that cause this incident in the first place.

    1. Lack there of

  16. Miracle on Rule 34th Street?

  17. “Not for you, Six Flags, or anybody else, am I shaving my beard off,” he said.

    And to all a good night!

  18. “[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,” recalled Henderson.

    Top be fair, doesn’t every interaction with Crusty begin this way?

    1. He doesn’t have a wife.

    2. He doesn’t have a wife.

    3. He doesn’t have a wife.

      1. I repeated because I really wanted him to know his fucking place.

      2. *thinks about going over and consoling Crusty*

  19. You know who else wanted to shave people?

  20. Mountain; molehill. Why can’t a private place ask someone to leave? Doesn’t libertarianism allow that? Are his only options to put his arms around the kids or run? He could have chuckled (in a Ho Ho Ho way) and said he wasn’t taking pics just then. Perhaps the park was taking paid photos of Santa and since it’s their facility with many expenses that go along with it, why not ask someone who is giving photos away to leave?

  21. #WarOnWomen

    That’s still a thing, right?

  22. Wait.. is it legal to be a fat adult male with a beard ? Why is this guy not in jail ? How else are we going to keep our streets safe ?

    1. Soon it will only be illegal for fat white males to leave the house. Common sense restrictions on fat white males and all that.

  23. Huh. I thought there was no lower form of law enforcement officer than the Mall Cop but I stand corrected… (who knew the Texas Bureau of Santa Impersonation was a thing?)

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