umbrellaMary Poppins used her umbrella to fly. The artist Christo used giant umbrellas to decorate a California mountain pass. The mysterious Agent Piccadilly used his to assassinate Bulgarian dissident writer Georgi Markov in a fantastic Cold War spy drama that took place on September 7, 1978, during a bustling London rush hour.

Markov, who had defected several years earlier, was on his way to work at the BBC. Standing in a crowd of commuters on Waterloo Bridge, he felt a sudden pain in the back of his thigh, something like the sting of a nasty insect. A heavy set man standing nearby stooped to pick up an umbrella from the ground and mumbled “I’m sorry” with a thick foreign accent. The man hurried off and jumped into a taxi.

Markov later discovered a painful red bump on the back of his leg. During the day he became ill and grew steadily worse. That evening he was hospitalized with a high fever, and he died on September 11.

The case, which has never been closed, came to be known as the Umbrella Murder. Scotland Yard has long suspected the Bulgarian secret service, perhaps with Russian involvement. The weapon is now called a Bulgarian Umbrella.

In a recent documentary, Markov’s wife said:“I wish, that, when people talk about it in the west, they wouldn’t say ‘Oh the guy, that got stuck by an umbrella’, they’d say ‘oh the great writer’, you know. The writer was so brave, that he risked his life to tell the truth, this would be fantastic.”


Perhaps umbrellas and death don’t go hand in hand, but you wouldn’t want to stand under an umbrella in an open field during a lightning storm.  Those 500-pound umbrellas that the artist Christo stretched across a California mountain pass turned deadly with one breaking loose and killing a woman.  And Mary Poppins had a mean streak as well as a mean umbrella.

Bedtime for Donald

donald-trumpWe are unified. Soooo unified. All for one and one for all. Some of those losers aren’t on board though. Who needs them? Ryan and Lyin’ Ted. Me oh my I was a prisoner of war McCain. Kasich, Romney. What losers. And the rest of them, hiding behind bushes, hoping I’ll lose. Well, It ain’t gonna happen. Let them cower. I’m bigger than the Republican Party. I got more votes than anyone ever got before. More than Ronald Reagan. More than Eisenhower. More than Lincoln. More than Julius Caesar. We’re unified. They sent sixteen of them against me and I beat them all. I got the most votes. I’ve got the biggest hands. G’night.

Inspirational Quote for 9/7/16



One thought on “September 7, 1978: It’s Not the Umbrellas That Kill . . .

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