“Nothing will induce me to part with Bunbury, and if you ever get married, which seems to me extremely problematic, you will be very glad to know Bunbury. A man who marries without knowing Bunbury has a very tedious time of it.”
Even if we don’t carry on double lives with subterfuge and verbal sleights of hand, like Algernon or Jack, we sometimes imagine ourselves doing so, or we second guess our decisions in a kind of perverse Socratic self-reflection. For instance, did I make a mistake here or there? What if I had said this or said that? What would life be like if I had done this or done that? These kinds of internal dialogues and constructed parallel worlds are just as dangerous as real life conversations, if not more so, precisely because they are a variant form of Bunburying within the comfort and security of our minds. I guess what I’m trying to get at is that real life Bunburying begins with a kind of mental play land where we vent our frustrations and entertain other possibilities without actually indulging in them. This is a very real occasion of sin and seems to me to be the first whispers of iniquity by the devil, a la Lewis's Wormwood or Screwtape. What harm could there be in just cavorting in fantasy? Plenty! Just say no to Bunburying.