The amount of bread we have eaten on this tour is ridiculous. We get up and leave first thing in the morning, and there isn’t really time to sit down and eat anywhere, and so we just grab a sandwich. Getting a salad would be more preferable and healthier, but the three of us eating salads in the van isn’t particularly practical. It can be rather messy, with those tubs of sauce that often come with them, and it’s hard for us all to eat at the same time, as there isn’t enough room for the three of us to wield our forks; we end up just elbowing each other in the face. Then we get to the venue, and the people have provided sandwiches for us. After the gig we are hungry, but often everywhere is closed apart from the take away places which serve burgers, pizzas or kebabs, which all have a bread element.
This morning, I had a ploughman’s sandwich. I mean, that was the name of the sandwich, in case you were thinking that I’d stolen food from a ploughman, perhaps waiting until he started ploughing and had his back turned to me, allowing me to make off with his butties without him realising.
The ploughman’s sandwich consisted of ham, cheese, tomato, lettuce and pickle, which are obviously the five top things that a ploughman likes to have in his sandwich. I assume they did a survey of lots of ploughmen, asking them what they liked in their sandwich, and then collated that information to create a bespoke sandwich tailored to the ploughman community. The ploughmen would no doubt have been immensely grateful that someone had bothered to put the effort in, perhaps wondering why they had been given such special treatment.
I enjoyed my ploughman’s sandwich, or at least as much as a man who is fed up to the back teeth – both literally and figuratively – with bread could be expected to enjoy a sandwich. But as I ate it I wondered why the ploughmen get a bespoke sandwich made for them, and why no one has thought to branch out and cater for people working in other fields (by which I am referring to jobs, jobs that don’t involve working in fields; I probably could have chosen a better word there).
What about the Data Annalist’s sandwich? or the IT Consultant’s sandwich? These people continue to be completely unrepresented in sandwich form, yet these are very common jobs. How many ploughmen do you know? But I bet you know at least one person who works in IT? The sandwich industry has clearly failed to move with the times, and doesn’t seem to have recognised the huge decline in ploughmen, and the many new jobs that have emerged as a result of the industrial and communications age. The sandwich makers are clearly out of touch with the real world.
I’m not saying that the ploughmen can’t still have their special bespoke sandwich. I am suggesting that the sandwich makers should also be reaching out to other professions and survey them about what they would like in their sandwich, and then cater for that community with their own special bespoke sandwich. I am happy to start the ball rolling and help the sandwich makers get started with this venture. So, if you could leave a comment on this blog telling me what your ideal sandwich would consist of, and then let me know your profession, I will collate the results and send them to the people working in sandwich production.
I suggest the first group of workers we target are the sandwich makers themselves. I mean, they are clearly the experts, the people who make sandwiches for a living, who have tried many and varied combinations of ingredients. Surely they of all people should know what it takes to make the perfect sandwich. If I wanted to buy a sandwich, I’d rather by a sandwich that has been specially designed for the highly discerning and skilled sandwich maker than a sandwich that’s been made for a man working on a field. No disrespect to ploughmen, but all I’m saying is that if I want a sandwich, I’d rather have a sandwich that’s been designed by and for the sandwich making community, just as if I wanted my field ploughing (and that reminds me, I really must get on the phone to someone about that) I would choose to get it done by a ploughman, and not a sandwich maker.
It would be interesting to see whether there is any correlation with the results. Will there even be a perfect sandwich that’s agreed on by the majority of people who just so happen to work in the same Job? Or will we discover that sandwich preference is not at all dependant on the job you do? Might it be that the only workers who agree on the perfect sandwich are ploughman? Maybe this is why none of the other jobs have sandwiches designed especially for them, as ploughmen are the only ones who have a collective opinion on sandwiches. Perhaps someone has already tried to do this work before, and found that asking people working in the same job to give their favourite sandwich yielded completely different results, with some people hating the very foods that other people said they loved. Maybe the sandwich makers got so confused and beaten down by their attempts to make bespoke sandwiches for these people that they eventually gave it up as a lost cause. If anyone knows then please get in touch.
If you’ve found this Dollop uninteresting or weird then blame it on the bread; it’s gone to my head.
Oh, I’ve just remembered that I haven’t even mentioned the original subject I was going to write about. We are doing the Simon Mayo BBC Radio 2 show tomorrow. We’re on just before the 6 O’clock news, and when I say “just before,” that is exactly what I mean. Apparently we only have about two minutes. That will be barely enough time for us to sing a song. There probably won’t be any time to talk about sandwiches unfortunately, as this would give me the perfect platform to start collating people’s professions and sandwich preferences. We might have to scrap the song.
Tomorrow we are at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards at the Albert Hall. After tomorrow we may no longer be the Best folk group. I hope you won’t dessert these Dollops if the result goes against us.