This week's brouhaha regarding Illinois's faux-senator sent my trivia-obsessed little mind into overdrive, reminding me as it did of one of my favorite hapless historical characters, the ill-fated Caroline of Brunswick, Queen of England and estranged wife of George IV.
Caroline, like Mr. Burris, didn't quite know how to take "no" for an answer. Despite having been disgraced and in Continental exile for years, when her husband took the throne in 1820, Caroline raced home to take advantage of her new position.
She caused a Burrisian stir in the lead up to the coronation in July of 1821, but as with her contemporary counterpart at the Capitol, she found the doors of Westminster Abbey slammed in her face (she tried more than one, poor misguided thing, going round and round in increasing confusion and disarray).
Let's hope that the parallels don't continue to play out, for in the wake of this final indignity, Caroline's health gave out and she died three weeks later. Should the unthinkable happen, though, at least we can be sure that, unlike Caroline (buried in obscurity in her native Brunswick), Burris has someplace suitable to go.