club coletteForget Downton Abbey, class warfare rages in full color in the dining rooms of the posh enclave of Palm Beach, Florida. Why isn't all that soft, cushioned money making the residents kinder? At a dining club Saturday night some rich dude named John Castle (yes, really, Castle) BROKE A WAITER'S FINGER. What did the waiter, Paul Kucik, do to deserve such harsh corporeal punishment? He dared present the bill as requested by Castle's wife. "You schmuck, why did you bring the bill to the table?" he reportedly snarled, before grabbing the waiter's hand and twisting his fingers.

The waiter declined to flatter the diner with "Oh my, Castle, what strong hands you have." He also hasn't pressed charges yet, but after getting an x-ray to confirm that the non-handshake had broken his left ring finger he retained a lawyer. As you do.

To be fair (I say, rolling my eyes) presenting the bill at the table simply isn't done at a dining club. It's supposed to arrive at your secretary's desk the following morning tied to the tender coral feet of an alabaster dove. Everyone knows that. But the customer is always right, and the waiter was just following her ladyship's orders.

Anyway, if you've ever spent time in the playgrounds of the tragically wealthy you may have noticed it doesn't always bring out the best in people. We stopped into a diner there one afternoon last winter (not because we're fancy but because I goofed the flight reservations and had us fly out of the PB airport instead of Miami). The waitress there was was oddly delighted to work with us and she eventually admitted, in hushed tones, that most of the patrons in that town were not exactly easy to deal with and it was just really nice to see some regular people. Then she glanced over her shoulder, wiped away a tear, and hurried off to another table.

Maybe it's that combination of old age and money that makes the denizens of Palm Beach especially (sorry, can't help myself) Palm Bitchy. I mean, these people don't even want a farmer's market on their fair island because it would attract undesirables. Maybe they're confusing farmer's market with flea market? Maybe delicious food make them angry? I don't know, but waiting tables should never be this dangerous!

Why do you think a diner would break a waiter's fingers like that?

 

Image via Club Colette/Facebook