An eye on the silly
"You've heard of the walking dead? Well, here we have the driving dead" is how our cab driver describes the Palm Beach residents.

And at the "Benefit Vernissage" of the Art and Antiques Fair they were out in force. The ultimate accessories of the evening? Zimmer frame, wheelchair with a youthful pusher, and, the piece de resistance, (casually draped over the shoulder like a Prada bag) - an oxygen kit.

Seeing is believing in Palm Beach, and even then it's hard to take. We British art dealers have still not acclimatised. There must be, somewhere in Palm Beach, a skin mountain of Everest proportions, because everyone, and I mean everyone, has been face-lifted.

Their skin is so tight that the women cannot move their heads. The men are particularly gross, with complexions like cellophane-wrapped chops, and the hair, be it toupee or implanted locks, seems to be a case of one- colour-does-all, in a sort of nicotene auburn.

Our Palm Beach motto is "all up front now, for you may not be here tomorrow." We did worry that someone had actually died on our "booth" when this old guy remained motionless on one of our chairs for over an hour, but bless him, he was only sleeping, and as soon as he woke up, he inserted his ear drops and nose drops, and off he staggered.

I knew that in Palm Beach they might not have the same artistic knowledge as, say, in London, but little did I know what a treat lay in store. There is a nightly competition in the bar for the best comment of the day. So far it's neck and neck between "Don't you just love that Monet Haystack?" about an English seascape, and the man who was considering a Rodin sculpture. He liked it, but asked the English dealer if he could get the artist to make another one the same, except facing the other way, so he could put them in his twin "niches" at home. When the dealer explained that Rodin was dead, so no longer taking commissions, his response was "Gee, poor guy. I'm sorry to hear that. Too bad, huh?"

So, as you can imagine, by the end of the day, we are all in need of a bit of apres-ski. This has been "varietal" as they say over here. But last night, I "arrived" - cocktail hour at Gineros was attended by the Palm Beach society photographer. So Ben (another art dealer) and I - "heads touching, now!" were snapped. It's not for Tatler or Harpers, folks. No, it's much better than that - we are going to be in The Shiny Sheet. Yep, it's really called that...

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