Wednesday, January 7

Zog, King of the Bums

King Zog
image = wikipedia
By Art Cashin

On this day (+3) in 1946, the unemployment rate in the nation of Albania went up by one. No, not one percent, just one. But it was an important one.

The day before, the unemployed person had been the King of Albania. But on that day the nation became a republic, putting the king out of work. Naturally the king was disappointed. Naturally the monarchists were disappointed. And naturally the crossword puzzle editors were disappointed.

Wait! You say, the crossword puzzle editors? Yes, Virginia, the crossword puzzle editors! For the deposed King was none other than the Grand and Imperial Zog.

King Zog was a hit with the social columns even if his people thought him three pickles short of a barrel. And the cruci-verbalists just couldn't get enough of him even after he shortened his surname from Zogu to just plain Zog in 1928 (at his coronation). In fact, Zog and the Zogettes (he had several daughters) might have hung on to become the kind of Royal don'tcha knows that Charles & the late Princess Di had once seemed but in the Balkans, unfortunately, Zog had made a bad bet.

He bet that the leader of a nearby nation would be a friend and defender - but Mussolini used the friendship to conquer Albania. So when World War II ended, the people had stopped calling their king...."Zog the Wise" or "Zog the Competent" or even "Zog the Okay." They called him
"Zog the Bum" and threw him out. That meant the crossword guys would be reduced to using "ex-Balkan" leader for the three-letter clue in the corner.

That was not as much fun and thus, Zog zigged out of the papers completely.


Many thanks to Mr. Cashin and UBS Financial Services who graciously allow his historical musings to be republished on this site. To enjoy more of Art's posts simply click on "Cashin's Comments" in the label section on the sidebar.

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