There are lots of married men in the world who wish they could have missed their own stag dos.
Sure, there are a few rave-loving animals who loved the spiked drinks, gruesome strippers, being chained to lamp posts and having endless paintball pellets fired at their crotches; but let's face it, for every one of those guys there are half a dozen party poopers who didn't think it was all that much fun.
The difficulty, of course, is trying to find the right calibre of excuse to miss the carnage - an excuse that plausibly gets the groom out of the line of fire without earning him a lifelong reputation for shirking.
And nobody in history has come up with a better line than Southampton star Adam Lallana. Not for him the invention of dead grandparent, faking a bout of dysentery, or dreaming up a last-minute call from NASA to fly to the International Space Station.
No siree. Lallana was so desperate to avoid the traditional torments that he went to the trouble of playing himself into the England squad for the World Cup.
A drastic measure, to be sure, and it remains possible that there were other reasons for his decision to play as well as he possibly could throughout the 2013-14 season. But the fact remains that while his 10 best friends jetted off to Miami to get blitzed, Lallana is back home drinking bottled water and eating steamed broccoli to keep himself trim for England duty in Brazil.
Showing exquisite generosity, the 26-year-old still picked up the £50,000 tab for the trip, despite the fact that he was missing it himself. And what a trip it was: a week-long extravaganza in the Florida metropolis, with first-class travel, five-star hotels, $30 cocktails and, ahem, the aforementioned ladies of ill repute.
The midfielder even went to the trouble of staying in regular touch with his pals via mobile phone and Skype, pretending that he was devastated not to be there as they drank years of their lives away on South Beach.
"They hit a wild pool party on Saturday daytime and then went to a strip club in the evening. It was all just a huge laugh and the boys kept speaking to Adam on the phone and over Skype.
"Obviously he is gutted he isn’t there with them all but he knows that he has to be on top form for Brazil and he’s going to give it his all.
"Most of the lads that went have known him all his life and they’ve always supported him — so he wanted to give something back to them."
That last phrase is the key here, we feel: give something back to them, without getting humiliated, placed into tabloid front page jeopardy, or picking up an ACL injury while trying to down a football boot full of strawberry daiquiri.
- Sports & Recreation
- Adam Lallana