Then I remembered something that happened nearly 30 years ago.
When I was a student in Wales, the landlord of my local pub asked me if I'd be interested in doing some bar work when the National Eisteddfod was held in town during the summer.
I had some reservations. The Eisteddfod was the epicentre of Welsh nationalism. I was very English and my knowledge of Welsh was limited to talking about the weather and telling people that I liked coffee.
However, with the recklessness of youth, I said yes. It would be an experience. One that hopefully wouldn't include being beaten up by irate Welsh speakers.
I needn't have worried. On the first day I discovered that any anti-English sentiment was eclipsed by a bizarre animosity between the Welsh from the north and those from the south. As people realised I was English, they seemed keen to convince me how awful the other part of Wales was: "You see, they think they speak better Welsh than us, but when they say like, they should say hoffi, not licio..."
Once I learned that even the most ardent nationalists were friendlier than many English people, I began to relax and found the company invigorating, particularly that of one man. He was a vicar in his 50s who worked in a boys' home and although he drank a ridiculous amount of beer, it didn't affect his ability to talk with great clarity about Welsh culture and history.
At one point in the evening, he looked worried. "Oh, I don't know if I should drive back to my bed and breakfast in Llanllwni. It's 15 miles and I've had 12 pints. What do you think, eh?"
As the pub landlord had given me a guest room with twin beds, it seemed only right to offer the spare bed to the drunken vicar. He seemed surprised and delighted. I congratulated myself on doing the right thing.
An hour later we went up to the room, where we removed our shirts and trousers and got into our respective beds. The lights were turned off and apart from a purple glow of static from the nylon sheets, the room was completely black and eerily silent.
Then, after a minute, I heard a voice in the dark: "Do you mind if I masturbate?"
I had no idea how to reply and heard myself say "No, but I'm just going out for a while." I walked down the corridor, locked myself in the bathroom and stayed there until half an hour had passed. When I returned, the vicar was snoring like a sedated bull.
Annoyingly, the following morning he'd asked the landlord's permission to use my room for the rest of the week and I was too embarrassed to object. After all, nothing had happened, had it? I spent the next five days being keep awake by the most extraordinary snoring I've ever encountered.
As far as the laying on of hands was concerned, I stayed in the television room and watched 'V' until I felt confident that the good Rev. Davies had passed out.
At one point I wondered if I was simply being priggish about an alcohol-induced episode of onanism, but my unwanted roommate later made remarks to friends that were rather disturbing and confirmed my fears. This wasn't just a drunk, sexually frustrated cleric, but a man who seemed to have a penchant for the young and vulnerable.
This episode reminded me just how different our social mores were in the pre-internet era. When the man told me that he was a vicar who worked in a boys' home, I took it as a cast-iron guarantee of good character.
Today, my naivety seems absurd. But it wasn't unusual and it enabled clergymen, relatives and a number of entertainers to abuse the trust they enjoyed from the public. When I feel depressed by my older son's knowledge of some of the less pleasant aspects of life, I remind myself that he is also less likely to have awkward encounters with masturbating vicars and dodgy relatives.