This is a tribute Eddie Antar, who passed away last weekend at age 68, would have been entirely sold on. It was written by the Daily Record’s William Westhoven, who worked for a number of years at the Crazy Eddie store in Union, N.J. in the 1980s before finding his way to a journalism career.
In the piece, Westhoven explains some of the code he and other employees would use when dealing with customers:
“Saff that jedge” meant “charge that jerk full price.” “Lunches” were repackaged goods sold as new. If you did a lousy job, you weren’t fired, you were “kished.”
“Shoof the husho” meant “see the shoplifter,” and believe me, you didn’t want to get caught stealing from Crazy Eddie, especially in the New York City stores (one legend has a “husho” stuffed into a trash compactor until he learned his lesson). Employee thieves were dealt with even more harshly. As a store manager, I had a part-time employee and good friend arrested and jailed on Christmas Eve when we caught him running a scam. If I hadn’t, I would have been the one who was “kished.”
My favorite was the “N.A.D.,” or “nail at the door,” a highly effective technique in which a manager would stop any customer trying to leave without buying something and ask them why. Most would say they didn’t see what they wanted or the price wasn’t good enough, at which point you would drag them back in and cut them a deal they could not refuse.
Westhoven says most employees referred to Antar as “Kelso,” and writes about running into his former boss after the latter famously served jail time. The reporter will be on New Jersey radio station WMTR-AM 1250 Sunday morning at 10 a.m. with host Jessie Frees to talk more about Antar.
Pictured, via Facebook: June 25, 1980 newspaper ad