Very early in my career when I was just a young pediatrician in Palm Beach county, I was in an exam room seeing a patient when my nurse knocked on the door.
“There’s someone on the phone who said she needs to talk to you, but I had trouble understanding her because of her accent.”
“Can it wait?” I asked.
“No, she said it’s very important. “
“Hello, this is Dr. Kraft,” I said as I picked up the phone.
“Dr. Kraft, ” my caller said with a very heavily accented pronunciation.
“My name is xxxxxx xxxxxx from the XXX spa in Palm Beach,” she said, expecting me to recognize her name or her spa’s name.
“I’ve heard about you from so many of my clients on the Island.”
That’s Palm Beach lingo for some who wants you to know that they are from the town of Palm Beach, the island off the coast from the mainland West Palm Beach.
I did have a few families who lived “on the Island,” as they loved to call their ritzy enclave, but I already was getting the feeling she was mistaken if she was talking about clients in a spa.
“How can I help you?” I asked.
“I wanted to meet you personally,” she continued, “since I’ve heard you do such mahvelous things with breasts” (with the emphasis on the word “mahvelous“). It was then that it clicked.
There was another doctor with the name Craft who was a plastic surgeon. Our paths never did cross in my 35 years in practice, for obvious reasons, but I always chuckled when I heard when a patient had been referred to me by someone on “the Island.”
I still have my own personal reason for laughing when I think of Billy Crystal and his SNL “Mahvelous” skit.