Wanted – Sandwich Hand. Only experienced need apply.
But how did you get experience when nobody wanted to give you a start in this thriving industry? Not that I wanted to spend my life slapping ham and cheese between slices of buttered bread – or even buttering the bread – but I did want the fringe benefits: money to pay the rent.
But I never did make it as a sandwich hand. Instead I joined the ranks of those who rip your ticket at the cinema door and guide you down flights of perilous stairs in the dark when your pre-cinema drink turned to two and the heroine is already tied to the railroad tracks. I became an usherette. Not a bad job, but even the best movies pall when you’ve seen them twice a day for six weeks. My only regret when I left was the timing. The usherettes won the lottery a few weeks later.
By then, though, I was busy making masks for a stage production. This was much more fun, involving plaster of Paris, shim and lots of araldite. Very messy. But not as messy as the national upheaval occurring at the same time: the change to decimal currency.
I suppose it was all for the best in the end. Lovely for the next generation, spared the intricacies of pounds, shilling and pence. And ultimately, the intricacies of miles, yards and inches and pounds and ounces. But not such fun for those of us caught in the middle, whose sandwich suddenly cost double the figure, whose recipes no longer made sense and whose speedo calibration was now obsolete.
So here’s a thought for all those who think the old are by definition stupid. We have managed to adapt to more change than you, in your smart naiveté, can even imagine. The only thing we haven’t had to adapt to is world peace. Good luck with that.