Elf tells all – Secrets of Bass Pro’s Santa’s Wonderland

This blog post is not endorsed in any way whatsoever by Cabela’s or Bass Pro.  It is my personal experience-opinion and should be taken that way.  All photographs, images copyright Bass Pro.

Sometime early in November of 2019 I received one of the regular email promotions from Bass Pro.  The email had the regular merchandise sales and an announcement for seasonal help in Santa’s Wonderland.  I had no idea what Santa’s Wonderland was about but thought it would be a chance to see what working at Bass Pro would be like knowing the gig would stop at the end of December.

I liked the idea of not having to quit a job I didn’t like if it turned out that way.  Bass Pro was expecting to let me go already with no expectations.  I applied for and got the job.  Official title, Elf.  We were issued red polos, a green apron and a Bass Pro embroidered elf’s stocking cap.  Next on the agenda was setting up part of the Wonderland experience.

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All the elfs set up artificial pine trees complete with lights and artificial snow as well as merchandise displays and play areas.  All said it took about three days to complete.  Once complete Santa’s Wonderland looked very much like it was set outdoors in a snowy forest.  It looked very realistic.  Parents should note that the display is for looking at and not a place for children to play or pose for photographs.

After a day of training on various topics we were ready to open.  Before I share some of my experiences and secrets that future visitors will find useful I should explain what Santa’s Wonderland is.

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Santa’s Wonderland(S.W.) can be found in many Cabela’s and Bass Pro stores during the holidays.  S.W. is a place where families, children or individuals can have a free photograph taken with Santa Claus.  There are free activities such as crafts at designated times of the day to a coloring area where children can color Christmas themed pictures with crayons or write a letter to Santa which can be placed in a mailbox feet away from the area.  Note to parents, the seating is for children to sit in while they write letter and color pictures, not for parents to take a break.

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There are also play areas where children can shoot duck targets with a bow and arrow, play in a sand-dirt toy area, shoot targets with a laser “BB” gun, tables with remote control trucks, Lincoln Logs and puzzle blocks and a Nintendo video game area with a hunting and fishing theme.  Plenty of activities to keep children busy while waiting to get a photograph with Santa.

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New this year was the digital Bass Pass system.  In the past years laminated tickets were handed out creating long lines everyone had to wait in for hours at times.  This years system involved registering for a time slot so that there were no long lines to stand in.  To obtain a digital pass an individual has to come to the store of choice, enter a name, phone number and number of people in a particular group.

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To use the pass system the phone number used must be able to receive text messages.  Once registered there will be a confirmation message, the next message will be a reminder with an estimated wait time and a final message that says “…it’s time…” prompting the individual or group to the red carpet.  Remember to charge the phone registered and bring it with you as there will be no other way to receive notifications.

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The digital Bass Pass does not mean there won’t be long wait times.  The later in the day or season you wait to register the longer the wait time will be.  If you register early in the season you will have very short to no wait.  As the season progresses wait time for minutes turns into hours.  Get there early if you wait until Christmas eve to get your photo you will be in line a long time and may not be able to get one at all!  “The early bird gets the worm”

The whole purpose of the digital pass system is so that there aren’t long lines of people standing in one place for hours.  The digital pass allows one to roam the store, eat at the store restaurant or visit other businesses close by until you are notified its your turn.

The Bass Pass allows the individual or group to obtain one (1) free photograph with Santa.  Participants will not be allowed to split a group up for multiple photographs for only one registration.  If a group wants more that one photo it would be wise to register multiple times for the same day using different phone numbers.  That way the group will be allowed to go through the line again.

With the hundreds and hundreds of people wanting a photo the elves will be moving the line at a rate of about  1 1/2 to 2 minutes per registration.  Due the notification system there should be plenty of time for wardrobe changes, hair and makeup.  Do not get on the red carpet and expect to hold the line up while others wait.  Be ready!

Mothers with infants must have a realistic understanding that a baby whose head must be supported will not pose to look at the camera while the photo is taken.  Mothers with this expectation will be disappointed.  Same thing for young children.  Once the first photo is taken children will anticipate the flash and attempt to look away or avoid the camera altogether.  After taking hundreds of photos I noticed this with all children.

Due to the time constraints one must understand that the free photo is not a photo shoot at a studio.  Elves take three photos quickly, choose the best of the three and print that one photo.  Participants do not get to choose as this would create chaos and increase the wait times by hours.  Another reason why getting there early in the season is important.  Don’t like your photo, register again for another one.

I’m sure that my readers aren’t like this, I post this information so others will understand the elf experience.  The following will put anyone behaving in the described manner on the lead elf’s naughty list and will get individual nowhere, possibly ejected from the store.  Free does not mean one is entitled to a photograph, craft or giveaway item.  Attempting to use any reason to cut line or pay the elves to allow it will only offend them.  Standing at the registration-check in area will not get one in sooner and creates a safety hazard.  People doing this will be asked to leave the area.

Disparaging or nasty racist remarks to or about others waiting to see Santa most likely will have one ejected from the store.  It will really piss off the elves and they will call one out on it.

As a lead elf I was able to see the best and worst of human behavior.  I had a fantastic experience.  One of my favorite parts of the experience was hearing the reasons why others should be allowed to cut line.  Don’t know how I kept a straight face.  Oddly the only people who didn’t like the digital pass system are those who didn’t register soon enough or understand it.  Long time attendees liked it very much.

I’ve mentioned some very useful tips for those paying attention.  Would I do it again?  Yes I would.  I enjoyed the people I worked with and the management supported us well.  That’s all for Santa’s Wonderland hope you found this useful.  -13

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Benedict Arnold Report

BARCOVER

Due to time constraints and the overwhelming traitorous acts by politicians I do not have the time to keep up with the Benedict Arnold Report.  This project will be indefinitely on hold unless something changes.  The good new is the traitors to the American republic are more than willing to show their true colors so that anyone who wants to see them can.

Be prepared! -13

Benedict Arnold Report 11 Town of Palm Beach Police Chief Nicholas P. Caristo

BARCOVER

 

South Florida Police Chief Stands by Push for More Restrictions on Gun Open Carry Laws

The report states, “Castro confronted group members during the meeting, saying the demonstrations cause fear when they are so close to schools and churches.

“When you come to the Town of Palm Beach you walk by a public school with your AR-15 out and you have a fishing pole over your shoulder, there’s kids playing in the playground,” Castro”  What a stupid thing to say it makes no sense.

In my opinion New York city thugs like Town of Palm Beach Police Chief Nicholas P. Caristo are the ones making people unnaturally frightened of inanimate objects with his fear mongering and propaganda.

P.D. phone number is 561-838-5454, the fax number is 561-835-4736 if you want to let them know what you think about them.  Don’t you love living in America?  1st Amendment!

If you have evidence you would like to share reach me via my contact page I’ll get back with you ASAP.  -13

That time I brought a shotgun to school and nobody cared.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I was determined and prepared that day to do what I had to do.  Nothing was going to stop me from getting a shotgun from the family armory and take it to school.  I placed a 20 gauge in the carry case and box of shells in a leather bag my dad used at the range, my dad supervising.  My plan?  Impress my instructor and pass the state sponsored hunter safety course held at our junior high school.  Participating students were instructed to bring a firearm with them to demonstrate safety skills taught in the class.

All children should be taught basic firearms skills and the importance and meaning of the Second Amendment.  Not that firearms should be feared.  Fear is not a natural reaction, fear of firearms is instilled by those with an agenda.  I brought a firearm to school and nobody cared.  -13

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Loud noise creates pandemonium at the mall. UPDATED

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Want to promote an anti civil rights agenda by disarming citizens and make people unnaturally fear firearms?  This is the end result.  Mass hysteria by shoppers because of a loud noise leads to people getting trampled by the crowd.  “Everybody was running. Some people — an elderly man — got trampled over because it was hectic.”  What did the police find while investigating a loud noise?  “We have not recovered any shell casings, no rounds of ammunition, anything along those lines,” Boca Raton Police Chief Dan Alexander said.  Click the link if you want to see more.  -13

Town Center at Boca Raton back open after fears of shooter cause confusion, panic

 

UPDATE: 15OCT2019 Mall chaos caused by single balloon popping, police report delayed reaction.  All I have to add is this is why people need to be educated about firearms.  Running in terror from a popping balloon sound.  -13

Balloon Popping Sound Mistaken as Gunshot Inside Boca Raton Mall: Police

 

UPDATE: 17OCT2019 Video footage of balloon pop causing pandemonium at mall.

Surveillance video shows balloon-popping incidents that triggered Boca Raton mall scare

Why shopping at Costco could get you killed.

I’ve been wanting to cover this issue since I found out about it.  The purpose of witting this is to call attention to the issue and to put pressure on Costco and all businesses to stop this practice of putting profit over life safety.  Let me be clear from the start, I fully support the second amendment, unrestricted.  I have been carrying a self defense firearm since 1982 and have no plans to stop no matter how emotional it may make irrational people.

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The shooting that happened in Corona California sometime in June of 2019 is a perfect example of exactly how shopping at a Costco in could get you killed.  I have this opinion based on experience as a firefighter and lessons learned by the deaths of others.  There’s a reason emergency responder’s say “every second counts”.  They do, I’ll use two videos as an example.

 

First I’ll use the video that was hosted by at the time Indiana Boone County Sheriff Ken Campbell.  In the video the sheriff is demonstrating how ridiculous magazine bans are.  We can see how fast an inexperienced individual can accurately put rounds on target.  20 rounds with an AR-15 was 14.79 seconds and with a Mini-14 it took 12.03 seconds.  Both of those fall within the 15 seconds before the door could be opened.  I’d call that life threatening in the event of an active shooter.

Next I’ll use the video from the Station nightclub fire that killed 100 people to demonstrate again how seconds count in an emergency.  Approximately one minute (1:26) into the fire it’s easy to hear the cries for help, people pounding on the glass trying to escape.  Ever wonder why doors open outward?  History has proven time and again that when those doors won’t open and sometimes when they do, people pile up quickly making it difficult or impossible to escape from modern exits.  As is painfully made clear in the video at the 1:56 mark.  All it takes is for one person to trip to start a chain reaction.  They will stack up like cord-wood.  “When I got to the inside doors, which is about 30 feet inside the building, I saw these big double doors, and people were stacked like cord wood. They were clear up to the top. They just kept diving out on each other trying to get out. I looked back over the pile and it wasn’t dead people, there were dead and alive in that pile and I went in and just started to grab them two at the time and pull them off the stack and drag them out.”  That quote from a responding firefighter to the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire and the Station nightclub footage is impossible to deny.

Also at issue is whether the system will function as designed.  We all experience modern product malfunctions when they don’t perform as designed.  In California an earthquake could possibly disable the system and no one would know until an emergency.  Same thing if there was an explosion.

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So called experts think delayed exits are okay for you and me.  They justify them in terms of profit for them and the company that purchases them.  In my opinion those companies and those who run them have questionable ethics at best.  They certainly do not have your safety in mind, only profit.  Read the quotes in the photo above for proof.  Shame also falls on fire officials that approve this kind of thing, they do not belong in that job.  Says me!

Is shopping at Costco a gamble with ones life?  Sure seems like it to me based on the evidence.  Will I shop there?  Yes, however, I always go armed and my plan if escape is necessary is to activate the fire alarm before trying to open the exit doors since that is supposed to deactivate the delay.  The real solution is to send a message to Costco that if they don’t stop this practice we will have a customer revolt.  According to Costco’s 2018 annual report their biggest fear is loosing customers in mass.  The report states it would affect the company drastically.  Think you’re not in danger?  Better go back and review the videos.  If you read this I’d like to know what you think.  Post your thoughts in the comments section.  -13

 

Benedict Arnold Report 10 State Representative Dan Daley

BARCOVER

The disgusting practice of using the death of someone to promote a personal agenda.  More anti civil rights traitors exposing themselves for who they really are.  Now these idiots want something called “Jamie’s Law” requiring individuals purchasing ammunition for their legally owned firearms to pass a background check.  Shame on State Representative Dan Daley.

Rep. Dan Daley Discusses ‘Jamie’s Law’ Which Calls For Background Checks On People Buying Ammo

If you have evidence you would like to share reach me via my contact page I’ll get back with you ASAP.  -13

Traitors Among Us – Judicial Watch on the Second Amendment

Judicial Watch video on “Red Flag” laws and the traitors among us.  Gun control is not your friend.  -13

 

 

When Seconds Count Help Is Minutes Away

This is why firearm owners will not compromise or negotiate second amendment rights in any way whatsoever.  The video below says it all no more commentary necessary. -13

 

The time I was bitten by Loralei the snake in the movie Striptease.

Photo by Lucas Ignacio on Pexels.com

It had been a week since Loralei the Burmese python’s eyes were cloudy.  She had been donated to the zoo after filming the movie Striptease with Demi Moore.  It was typical to not feed snakes about to shed their skin since they usually wouldn’t eat.  Loralei now 11′ long weighing 50 pounds hadn’t been fed for a week when I cleaned her exhibit.  When I went in she was up in the limbs of the section of a tree we had put in for her to stimulate natural activity.

Her eyes still cloudy she wouldn’t be fed this morning either.  As soon as she shed she would be fed.  I went about my day as usual.  When it came time to close the zoo down for the day I went to enter Loralei’s exhibit to insure all was well.  As I opened the door she was stretched along the length of the exhibit with her head next to the door I’d just opened.

I noticed she had shed her skin. Didn’t think much of it but would note it in the daily report so she would be fed the next morning.  I casually bent over to grasp her head so I could move her out of the way to check the exhibit.  In an instant my right hand was in her mouth, her body wrapping around my arm.  I was shocked how fast it happened.  Within seconds her entire body was off the floor attempting to keep wrapping around me as she kept constricting tighter.

She couldn’t get her long body around my arm so the rest of her was trying to loop around my head and neck.  The situation was becoming dangerous.  With my right hand and arm in her grasp and my left trying to push off the rest of her I couldn’t reach my two-way radio to call for help.  I noticed the water container was still full so I knelt down and pushed her head into the water.

When I did she constricted my arm so tightly I thought she might break it.  I quickly pulled her head out of the water.  I looked around for another option.  The only thing I could see possible was a limb from the tree inside the exhibit reaching over the doorway.  I thought if I could get her tail up on that she might try to grasp it or I might be able to keep her away from my neck long enough to call for help.

I tried but her tail kept trying for my head and neck area.  I moved in closer to the tree and pushed part of her up again then moved my head down under the tree pressing against the lower side of the limb.  It worked.  I was able to get the radio out of the pouch on my belt and call in a zookeeper-in-trouble code to security.  Security rebroadcast the information to all the zookeepers.  By then Loralei had moved her body down to my head again.  I dropped the radio then kept pushing her away.

It was very quiet by then as all the visitors had left so the natural sounds of the zoo could be easily heard.  After about a minute or so I could hear the sound of multiple keys hitting each other.  That unmistakable sound when lock keys on a key ring strike each other.  That’s odd I thought for a moment when I realize what it was.  It was the sound of about a half dozen zookeepers running to come help me.  What a wonderful sound that was.

Several zookeepers arrived then started to unravel Loralei off my arm.  In all the excitement I hadn’t realized my hand wasn’t just in her mouth she had embedded dozens of teeth about a 1/4″ long into my hand as well and had no intention of letting go.  The zookeepers would be at risk for bite if they tried to use their hands to peel her mouth away.  The zookeeper with the most snake experience went to our food prep area and returned with some rubbing alcohol.

He took put some on his finger so it would drip off in drops.  He held his finger over her nostrils and let one drop fall into them while another zookeeper held her behind the head.  Almost as fast as she had attached herself to me she was letting go.  She flexed her jaws attempting to remove the teeth she had been grasping me with.  I could feel them tearing out of my fingers.  It was gnarly.  My goodness the sensation of those teeth pulling out of my flesh was hardcore.

Loralei detached I drove to the hospital for x-rays to insure there were no teeth left behind and was given some antibiotics as a precaution.  Loralei never tried to eat me again after that.  Policy was changed so that there had to be two zookeepers working together whenever we worked with large snakes.  What an experience that was.  -13

Hurricane Dorian Ridiculous Local News Headlines

Every time we have a hurricane possibility the local news does this same old crap.  They start off with regular weather reports when a potential hurricane is off the coast.  Then it escalates into mythological madness.  The local news headlines tell the story of storms that gain mythological status with sights aimed at us to lay siege and destruction to where we live.  There are battles to be won by the fierce storm that menaces with lashings.  It’s nuts!  When they are supposed to be reporting facts they reduce themselves to tabloid titles and statements.

After all these years of this kind of thing I finally thought I’d take a screen shot of this practice then do a little cut and paste for everyone to enjoy.  I couldn’t take it anymore this was the only retaliation I could think of.  Hope others find the video I made as entertaining as it was to make it.  -13

Rescue Memories- Weirdest call ever, mouse concentration camp and the dead Nazi.

Performing the duties of a humane officer can be rewarding and sometimes plain old weird.  I was called for assistance to remove animals from an apartment by the HPD no other details were available at the time of dispatch.  I thought it might be an eviction or abandonment case, was I wrong about that.  I was to meet with an HPD detective.

Once on scene I made contact with the detective for more details.  He informed me there had been a suicide in the apartment that there were birds, cats, mice and fish to be removed and transported to the humane society.  Before we go to the apartment he said I think you should see this then handed me a spiral notebook page in a ziplock bag.  It was the suicide note explaining why the deceased lady was killing herself with the last sentence stating she was going to be with the Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler.

Dam, I thought, with a note like that this is going to be a good one.  I put on my coveralls and rubber boots.  The detective lead me to the apartment door, he unlocked the door then asked me if I had any issues with dead bodies.  I asked if she was still in there, no he said.  I told him I had been a paramedic dead bodies never bother me no matter what state it is in.  He asked me if I could smell it yet.  Just about that time I did, the unmistakable smell of a dead human.

He lead me into the apartment a few steps explained the scene, told me to look for a firearm and to notify him if one was found.  No problem I told him then proceeded to assess the scene to decide how to handle the situation.  The kitchen was on the left with a counter connecting it to the living room.  To the right was the bathroom and the bedroom with a walk in closet.  One of my first observations was the stream of body fluids that was coming from the closet accumulating in a large mass on the bedroom terrazzo floor.

Also of note was what looked like footprints and slide prints in the mass of body fluids.  I said to the detective it looks like somebody tried to run or almost fell in the fluid mass.  He laughed at what I said then told me that the crew moving the body had fled the closet when a cat had emerged from under part of her body.  It had scared them and they ran.  Said they thought she had come back to life.  That gave me something to laugh about.  The detective said there was no reason for him to be there he would wait in his car.

I had no idea how many animals were in the apartment.  The birds, the mice and fish were already contained so I’d leave them for last.  I wanted to catch the cats since they could escape if a door or window was opened.  I was able to catch 7 cats throughout the apartment.  As I was searching for the cats I noticed all of the Nazi posters, videos, flags and other paraphernalia.  That’s really strange I thought the lady who had killed herself was Hispanic.

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Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Finally satisfied I’ve captured all the cats I head to the bedroom where the birdcages are hanging in front of a window next to the bed.  As I go to remove the first cage I see two little cards with names on them.  One says, “Hitler, my Fuhrer” the other says “Eva Braun”.  What the hell I said to myself.  As I remove the second cage there are two more cards on there marked “Heinrich Himmler” and “Hermann Goring”.  Now it’s getting weird I’m thinking.  I put the birds in the transport then came back for the mice and fish.

I took a few minutes outside to get some fresh air.  The smell of dead humans doesn’t bother me but it was nice to not be breathing it constantly.  I took the time to think how I’d remove the mice yet keep them from escaping.  After a few minutes I went back inside.  I looked over the multiple mouse cages there then something creepy struck me.

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All of the cages were lined up in two rows with interconnecting tunnels with a single cage at one end.  Fish bowls at the four corners.  It had suddenly dawned on me how this looked like an overhead view of a concentration camp.   Then I though the birds must have been the Nazi leaders, the cats the SS and the mice all of those who had been sent to the concentration camps, Siamese fighting fish the camp overseers or guards.  It rose the hair on my arms to think about.  I quickly gathered up the mice into a single cage then put them and the fish into the transport.

That was all I had to do there.  All the animals were accounted for as far as I could tell it was time to leave.  That was the weirdest animal welfare call I can remember.  A Hispanic Nazi woman who killed herself to be with the Fuhrer.  I would have never believed it had I not been there to see it. -13