Hal and the Gypsy Electrolux salesman

I generally worked afternoons / nights at the Tunnel Bar. One morning, my father was hard at work implementing one of his improvement projects, so I was in tending bar early.

Though the window, I see a new Cadillac pull up right out front at the door to the bar. A very well-dressed middle-aged Gypsy gets out of the car. He opens the trunk and takes out a Electrolux vacuum cleaner. He walks into the bar holding the appliance by the top strap like a suit case.


My father happened to be standing nearby. “Yeah, that’s me. What can I do fer’ya?”

“I’m sellin’ this vacuum cleaner. It’s new! Electrolux!”

My father puts down the hammer that he had in his hand. He then picks up the vacuum cleaner, looking it over. Unrolling the cord, he plugs it into an outlet.


My father placed his hand over the hose of the Electrolux and by his expression appeared impressed with the performance.

“How much?”


My father put his hand in his pocket. Taking out some folded bills, he located a fifty.

“OK. Here.”

Instead of taking the money, the Gypsy walks over to electrical outlet.

“Whad’ya doin?”

“This is the demo. I’m gonna get you a new one in the box.”

“Nah. I don’ need no box. Picking up the vacuum cleaner with one hand and offering the fifty dollar bill with the other, “I like this one.”

Ignoring the money, the Gypsy started to tug at the vacuum cleaner. “THAT’S MY DEMO! I GOTTA HAVE THAT BACK!”

For a few seconds, my father and the Gypsy were in a tug of war over the ELectrolux. Before I could get around the bar, in walks Hal — all six-foot-four, 280 pounds of him. He’s immediately alert to the altercation.


The Gypsy took one very frightened look at the enraged giant and let go of the vacuum cleaner. Surprised by the quick release, my father slid back a few feet into the cigarette machine, still holding the vacuum cleaner under one arm and the fifty dollar bill in the other hand. The Gypsy pushed past Hal (who was still holding the door), jumped into the Cadillac and sped off.

That Electrolux worked great for many years and the price certainly couldn’t be beat.

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About Anthony Olszewski

Anthony Olszewski has written on a wide variety of topics: cage birds, tropical fish, popular culture, the poetry of Amiri Baraka and a chapter on genetics for a veterinary text book, as a small sample. He worked as an editor at a magazine produced by TFH, the world's largest publisher of pet books. Anthony Olszewski is the author of a booklet on Hudson County history, Hudson County Facts, and a book of short stories, Second Thief, Best Thief, that are sold on Amazon. Anthony Olszewski established PETCRAFT.com in 1996. A pioneer on the Web, the Site continues to provide unique information on a range of companion animals, focusing on birds and fish. As a community service, he operates Jersey City Free Books. Anthony Olszewski was born in Jersey City, NJ (Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital, 1956) and is a member of Mensa.
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