Stephen Lodge, a 32-year-old from Chepstow, is entering a second week of having to avoid getting into complicated and probably self-defeating arguments sparked by comments about athletes in the Commonwealth Games that are probably a bit racist, but not worth making too much of a fuss about.
The problem started while watching the 100m sprints with a generally kindly uncle who observed that there were 'not many white fellahs' in the final.
'He was right, technically,' observed Lodge, 'and I suppose there might not have been any malice behind it, so I let it go. When he started comparing the skin tones of the different competitors like they were on a Dulux paint chart, I thought it was easiest to go and pop the kettle on.'
Lodge again had to weigh up whether to step in as a bloke at the bar in the pub remarked upon the 'good traditional English names' of some of England's competitors who clearly had an Asian family heritage. 'There was nothing to suggest he was definitely being prejudiced,' Lodge maintained, 'and his non-fashionable tattoos certainly didn't look ironic.'
As the week went on Lodge continued to consider, but ultimately reject, the idea of pulling up office colleagues for commenting that a lot of the African runners are quite skinny, or giving a view on whether it was surprising that the Jamaican national anthem didn't have a reggae beat. He also avoided getting involved in possibly slightly sexist but maybe not necessarily judgemental discussions about how female athletes are often flat-chested and on occasion may be some distance from being conventionally attractive.
'I think it'll be the best when the whole thing's over,' Lodge said 'and until then I'll just watch sports that are less likely to have racist or sexist implications, like Men's synchronised diving. Waxed, muscular young men in skimpy trunks walking carefully on wet surfaces. What could anyone have to say that might be contentious about that?'