The holidays can cause stress for all of us. This must particularly apply to those slaving in Santa's workshop. One case in point: 45 year old William C. Caldwell, III, surely the frontrunner for 2009 Angry Elf of the Year.
It may come as no surprise to anyone that your local mall Santa receives excellent security training these days. And a good thing, too. On Wednesday evening, the mall Santa on duty at Southlake Mall in Morrow, Georgia came face to face with a potentially explosive situation. The 45 year old Mr. Caldwell, in full elfin attire, wanted his picture taken with Santa. When his turn came, he informed Santa that he had in fact brought some of his own tools from the workshop... specifically, a bag of dynamite.
It probably should have raised a few eyebrows that a 45 year-old man, dressed as an elf, was standing in line with a bunch of kids waiting to speak with Santa... particularly when he's got this look in his eyes:
(In most, if not all jurisdictions, elf hats are not allowed in mugshots.)
However, no real alarm bells went off until it was the pixie's turn. It wasn't until they prepared to take the picture that the angry elf informed Santa of the dynamite he supposedly carried. No word on whether he was sitting on Santa's lap at the time.
The quick thinking Santa immediately informed the Southlake Mall security team of the potentially dangerous elf. Authorities contacted local police who evacuated the mall, blocked off streets and cordoned off the area. Georgia Bureau of Investigation officers arrived along with the Morrow Police. They completed an exhaustive search of the mall. Three suspicious bags were discovered near Santa, but no explosives. Fear that Caldwell would actually drop an elf bomb subsided after the "all clear" was given at 10 p.m., local time.
The angry elf was arrested and booked on charges including having hoax devices and making terroristic threats. At this time, bail has not yet been set. No word on whether he had to forfeit his elf costume after its use in the alleged crime.