Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Bunbury - If You'll Just Excuse Me ...

... other than here is where I need to be.
(photo by Barefoot Girl)


Noun. Late 19th century.
[An imaginary person (so used in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest).]

A fictitious excuse for making a visit or avoiding an obligation.

Oh nuts! I was so looking forward to writing about Bunbury. I had a scholarly analysis of The Importance of Being Earnest drafted; I was going to prompt a lively existential debate about ... umm ... existence ... and other stuff, like whether having a Bunbury is lying and whether it's ever morally acceptable; oh, and of course I was going to write a detailed character analysis of Algernon Moncrieff and his use of the fictitious invalid Mr Bunbury to avoid his social obligations. Anyway, I've no time for any of that now, as I must away to Gloucester for an appointment with a Mr Tobias Wellington-Plumbsworthy, who is urgently assessing my ... umm ... thing. Yes, that'll do. Therefore, make yourself at home, feel free to comment, but do make sure you close the browser on your way out. Cheerio!

Do you have a Bunbury?

Are you someone else's Bunbury?

Do please bury your bun in the comment box below.


  1. I think having a Bunbury is a great idea. Life's too short to accept every invitation, especially to those you're not really in the mood for. Playing the Bunbury card is far nicer to the host than telling them you just don't want to go.
    If I really can't face going somewhere I often use the excuse that my parents are coming down to visit. The disappointed host usually nods in understanding not realising I'd rather attend my own flogging than actually have them stay, but who needs to know?

    1. Parents make a great collective Bunbury - especially when they're suddenly "taken ill".

  2. I remember reading The Importance of Being Earnest for one of my British literarure classes and then craving the cucumber sandwiches and tea (not a thing in Greece). So I ate cream cheese sandwiches and drank tea for quite some time after that. (Cucumber not a thing in Greece in winter.)

    As for bunburies, my students' parents in Greece fed me plenty of those when their kids were bored or when they wanted to save money (as I was paid by the hour).

    I like yiur new picture!

    1. Thank you Evi - I'm actually in the process of trying to clean up my Blogger account as I was using different accounts for different things and it's all been a bit of a mess.

      I have an odd liking for cucumber sandwiches, even though I never eat them. White bread (crusts removed), a thin scraping of butter, sliced cucumber and a dash of salt - delicious! And very, very refined.

  3. I do have a little trick up my sleeve.

    I convince the person, or 'mark' as I call them, using a subtle blend of theoretical physics, philosophy and strategically-timed nodding, that I cannot exist and that, by extension, nor can they.

    However the last time I tried this, the waitress explained that she didn't care what Jung said, and that I still has to pay for my breakfast.


    1. Strategic nodding is indeed a dark art, C, the power of which few could control. As it seems you're already attempting to use it for evil, I pray that you never master it, lest your misdeeds push up the price of a full fry for all of us ...

  4. Ok, I'm proud to say I just used a bunbury to get out of a job interview. They told me they would pay me $7.75/hour and I might even have to clean the restroom "if anything happens". So, i told them I've booked a 10-day trip to New York during the holidays (their peak time). I tried not to run on the way out.

  5. What a lovely word for telling a porkie!
    I have to admit to using Bunburies on many an occasion.
    Having a neurological disorder is a bummer, but it can come in handy at times!

    1. I did think of you when I wrote this, Jingles. I thought: "This is just the type of word that Jingles likes!"