~A Guide to Bunburying~

By: Rosalynn Kowal


Bunburying is a term the character, Algernon Moncrieff, from the play, The Importance of Being Earnest, uses. It is defined as the act in which a person creates a fictional counterpart in another place. This person is used for the purpose of not having to deal with one's own life, and instead, they get to escape and enjoy life as the specious persona.

Step One: Preperation

Create a New Identity

One of the most important pieces in Bunburying would be actually creating a person to become. For this you could make up a relative or friend who tends to get sick a lot, an invalid, which is an example used in The Importance of Being Earnest. You could also make up a person and be them, and make lots of little excuses in order to carry out this act.

John Smith (Original Identity)*

Date of Birth: November 23rd, 1963

Place of Birth: London, England

Occupation: Pediatric Physician

Interests: Reading science fiction, studying experimental and theoretical physics, drawing, etc.

Neil Peart (Fake Identity)*

Date of Birth: September 12, 1963

Place of Birth: Hamilton, Canada

Occupation: Writer

Interests: Drumming, writing, song writing, traveling, etc.

Shifting into Your New Persona

Once you create your new persona, you need to be convincing. Memorize general facts, but do not release more details than you need to. You must also change your regular habits and such, maybe even going as far as to change your dialect or making a new one entirely (learning a new language). You must change your routines and never let your identities mix. That creates too many complications and opportunities for your conspiracy to be unfoiled.

Step 2: Routines

Be Secretive

Don't go around spouting your plans if you don't have to. Do what you've got to do, and only answer questions when you're asked. Don't initiate a conversation about where you're going unless the people you're dealing with are really nosy, and it is just better to do so.

Be Consistent with Your Excuses

You don't want to get caught lying to the people in your life. Always think before you act; don't say you were going bowling, then come back and say you went to a dog show or something stupid like that. The person you were telling this to probably won't care that much where you went as long as it was the place that you originally said. If you change up what you're saying to people, that will definitely lead to questions that you are going to have a difficult time explaining. Questions lead to answers, and answers will hurt whether you are lying or telling the truth in a Bunburying situation. In this scenario, it's going to hurt either way. To ensure you don't have to distress or upset anyone, it is a good idea to be cautious in the first place.

Step 3: Preventative Actions and Common Problems with Bunburying

Being Cautious, Aware, and Sensible

To avoid pretty much any obstacles that come up when you're Bunburying, you just have to be cautious, aware, and sensible. If you aren't a very intelligent individual, this guide probably isn't for you. It requires a great amount of skill to successfully Bunbury although, in the end, most are caught no matter what. That's how things like this always go. It makes the scheme simpler if you think before you go somewhere to do something or even just say something. Choosing the right words and actions will go a long way in a thing like this. Having a disguise or justification will also help. Make sure to follow the other rules, listed above, before you go any deeper into all of this.

Don't Let Your Identities Mix!

This goes along with the above, but it is one of the most common occurrences that happens when Bunburying. Don't be seen by your first family by your second identities' friends. Don't wear the wrong wedding band. Don't bring your daughter someone from your other life's favorite ice cream. It creates many unneeded complications especially if you don't have a disguise or a good excuse. If this does happen, and you can't be convincing enough, you might as well give up on your charade.

Good Luck!

*--(Please note that these identities are not real, nor are they to be assumed to be the actual people they are named after. This is a school project, and these identities should not be taken seriously.)