It was Christmas 1981. My dad and brother-in-law were watching TV, while I was playing on the floor (well, I say "playing on the floor" - more like "rocking back and forth in my cage, clicking my fingers, and muttering facts about bagatelle"... amirite?!). The pop duo Dollar, comprised of highlighted cretin David van Day and the miniskirted Thereza Bazar, came on screen to perform their top hit 'Mirror Mirror'.
My dad nodded to the female singer, turned to my brother-in-law, and said "I wouldn't mind finding her in my Christmas stocking". In my head, he cupped his elbow pit, pumped his fist, and added a throaty "Phwoaaaar!". It's entirely possible that he also repeatedly stamped his foot on the floor, shot steam out of his ears, and made his eyeballs pop out on stalks.
Now... my father isn't exactly Sid James. Indeed, this is the only instance I can think of where he said or did anything remotely like this, and with hindsight it's strangely out of character. I can only assume he was trying to impress my brother-in-law, who was American and a bit alpha male-y, and probably intimidated him slightly.
Nevertheless, he did do it, and - y'know - fair enough. He was born in 1934, only six years after women got equal voting rights in the UK. You can forgive him the occasional comment along those lines. Although - again - I can't think of any others. And - y'know - is it inherently sexist to find a pop singer attractive? Isn't that rather out of everyone's control? I dunno.
I mean, I don't really recall him being particularly sexist in any other way. After all, my mother would've refused to cook his dinner or iron his shirts if he'd so much as even tried.
Nonetheless, were my father to have made a similar comment on Twitter in 2017 he'd probably never hear the end of it, and be chased out of town wondering what exactly he'd done wrong. He'd be labelled a sexist monster, when he's really just sort of a sweet old man, and completely harmless.
You know: rather like poor Shigeru Miyamoto and Steve Martin.
Just before Christmas, Super Mario Run was the subject of an opinion piece in the New York Times, which damned as sexist what everyone had - up until that point - believed was a fairly innocuous little video game.
Super Mario Run is not only sexist, claimed the author... but "not family-friendly" - something that perceived wisdom suggests Nintendo has always otherwise been. So dangerous was the game that the writer of the piece was keeping it well away from his six year old daughter, lest it lead directly to her one day working as a pole dancer, or secretary, or professional giggler, or something.
The idea of a game as unassuming as Super Mario Run being in any way offensive sounds extreme, and an idea that most of us with any sense would automatically dismiss as ludicrous.
But get a load of this - I actually think the guy who wrote the piece sort of had a point.
At the same time... I really wish he hadn't written it, because he's a massive, overreacting idiot, and I hate him and hope his fingers fall off and his eyes get pecked out by a crow, so that he never writes again.
Fundamentally, the Mario series is about rescuing a princess who wears pink, and offers Mario cake and kisses.
The default heroes are usually always male. Which is fine. I mean... even boys need role-models to look up to, and what better role-model can there be than a plumber who stomps wildlife to death?
But let's not pretend that, to a certain degree, the Mario series doesn't portray the female characters - of whom there are approximately two - as lesser or weaker than its male characters. Princess Peach is little more than collection of stereotypes - who is always being abducted and waving a parasol around...
The exact same complaint can be levelled at the Zelda series, where females are - again - princesses or fairies, and it's always down to the brave boy Link to save the day.
Thing is, these series were conceived in a different era, before political correctness took a stranglehold on society. Not only in a different era - but a different culture. Japan has a starkly different attitude towards gender to the one we're used to over here.
However, speaking as a father of far too many daughters, the strides we've made towards gender equality in my lifetime is a wonderful thing. And yeah... we've still a way to go, but female representation in movies and video games is more positive than at any point previously.
But for all that, I still have something of an issue with the whole Super Mario Run Is Sexist piece, because I believe it weakens, rather than strengthens, the move towards gender equality.
See, I like the general idea of political correctness, if not the term itself; it has come to represent the worst right-on excesses of the liberal left.
My friend, the comedian Chris Coltrane, says that political correctness is basically just about being nice to one another, and as a description of PC it's one that's difficult to take issue with.
But... political correctness - or whatever you want to call it - is a tool that should be used with a degree of precision. In my opinion, it should never be employed as a sledgehammer, because then you risk destroying precisely what you're trying to create. There's a reason sculptors don't use baseball bats.
Indeed, you can take issue with me for this if you like, but I do attribute the rise of the alt-right in part to them pushing back against liberals who've gotten a bit carried away in recent years. It always stokes my ire when political correctness makes a big fuss about the wrong things.
You know: like forcing poor old Steve Martin to remove a tweet in which he called the late Carrie Fisher "beautiful". What's wrong with that? In her latest autobiographical book she describes her younger self as "a piece of ass". If I die, and someone writes that I was handsome when I was younger, I'd a) Be flattered, and b) Frustrated that they weren't there back when I really needed to hear it.
The article in The New York Times (written by Chris Suellentrop - whose parents were such big fans of the soap opera Dallas that apparently they changed their surname in honour of one of the characters) was seemingly cultivated to whip up the alt-right.
Whether he was trolling, or genuinely means it when he writes stuff like "Super Mario Run is not a family-friendly game — or at least not one my wife and I will be letting our 6-year-old daughter play", I dunno. Either way, he handed them a gift.
His rhetoric was always destined to be damned as the demented ramblings of a "Social Justice Warrior", rather than be taken seriously. Consequently, its message - as perfectly valid as it might be - nevertheless gets buried by his foam-mouthed indignation, and the cackling of the right.
Not only that, but it makes political correctness look stupid, when political correctness is - as previously stated - really just about respecting one another. What's most irritating is that when the left write crap like this, or go for soft targets, or get triggered by every last little thing. The right don't listen to the message - they simply laugh, and push back even harder.
Was Super Mario Run really the worst example of sexism in video games? Really?!?
The usual alt-right news outlets had a field day with piece in The New York Times. They loved that, once again, the "po-faced liberal elite" displayed its uptight inflexibility, its humourlessness, its determination to threaten cherished institutions.
And much as it pains me to say it, they have a point. Far too often the left have no sense of proportion. It's like they're just waiting to be outraged - as if there's a whole generation of Mary Whitehouses waiting to pounce on every last thing.
Super Mario Run might be a bit sexist, but the question we need to ask ourselves is whether it really matters. Yeah, alright... it sort of does, I suppose. But if you're fighting a war you go for the big targets first. You secure the bridges, the strategic points... You don't fanny around in a field throwing handfuls of grenades at foreign cows to try and disrupt milk and beef production.
There are more deserving targets than Super Mario Run - targets which won't risk damaging the entire cause of fighting for gender equality.
If you allow yourself to be outraged by everything, if it's political correctness carpet bombing, then it makes everyone who believes in gender equality - in video games, in movies, in TV, in society - too easily dismissed by those who are entrenched against it. Worse: it makes them cling ever tighter to their beliefs.
Chris Suellentrop... you have messed up.