Mall Santa in hardhat after pie attack
PAISLEY, Scotland, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- A shopping center Santa in Scotland has been forced to wear a hardhat after unruly teenagers pelted him with Christmas pies.
"We are a multi-level center and have taken this somewhat drastic action to protect Santa from possible injury," Paisley Center mall manager Andrew MacKinnon said.
The teenagers threw traditional festive British mince pies at Santa from the upper level of the mall as he was handing out treats to children.
Santa now wears a builders-style hardhat.
The hat has been decorated with red reindeer antlers to "Christmas it up a bit," MacKinnon said.
30 percent of Santas peed on
LANCASTER, Pa., Dec. 21 (UPI) -- A survey conducted by Auntie Anne's Pretzels of Lancaster, Pa., finds 34 percent of real-bearded mall Santas have been urinated on by a child.
In addition to those soaked in Christmas joy, the survey found more than 60 percent of members of the Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas are sneezed or coughed on up to 10 times every day, the Insurance Journal reported Wednesday.
The survey, administered by Brand IQ, is based on data collected from 330 members of the 1,000-strong organization.
Some 74 percent of Santas reported having children cry on their lap daily, and 90 percent have their beards pulled on every day by children seeking to verify authenticity.
Auntie Anne's said the survey results inspired the company to prepare "Santa We Got Your Back" Survival Kits for mall Santas across the country. The kits include hand sanitizer, lip balm, Shout wipes, beard grooming supplies, a roll of mints, throat drops, tissues, a backup red bulb for Rudolph's nose, an official reindeer pooper-scooper and other items.
Santa's beard insured
NEW YORK, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- A professional Santa who appears at Macy's in New York and makes appearances at the homes of many celebrities has an insurance policy protecting his beard.
Brady White, who makes appearances at the homes of Pamela Anderson, Rene Russo, Kirstie Alley and other celebrities, took out a policy on his beard from London specialty insurance company Lloyd's, Insurance Journal reported Wednesday.
"All sorts of things can happen to Santa's beard and I wanted to know that it was protected. Children can be a little rough so it gets tugged and pulled a lot, and then there is the soot and the danger of being singed when I head down the chimneys," White said.
"A natural growth white beard is a valuable business asset to a highly specialized performer like Brady and thus it is exactly the sort of service industry asset protection that Lloyd's specializes in," underwriter Jonathan Thomas said.
"With his Hollywood clientele it is unlikely that a fake beard could fool children accustomed to seeing their parents transformed into all manner of characters on the silver screen," he said.
The report did not say for how much White's beard is insured.
'No, no, no' turns into 'ho, ho, ho'
COMMACK, N.Y., Dec. 21 (UPI) -- A New York school district bus driver, with a profile resembling the jolly elf, nearly was Grinched for the red-and-white Santa hat he wore while on duty.
Ever since he began ferrying children to and from school five years ago, Kenneth Mott, 65, said he has been donning his furry hat during December. But after a recently completed morning route, Mott said his supervisors told him he'd have forego the Santa gear, New York Newsday said.
A child's parent complained to the Commack, N.Y., school district, it seemed, which complained to Baumann and Sons, which asked Mott to not wear the hat.
Mott said he thought it was a joke and vowed to wear the cap during the afternoon. He said he doesn't pretend to be Santa Claus while driving, doesn't play Christmas carols and doesn't decorate his bus.
After he told parents that the next day may be his last because of the hat, Mott said, his supervisors reversed themselves, telling him he could wear the hat after all.
Even though the dispute is over, Mott said officials "sure took a lot of the joy out of my Christmas."