In the USA I have noticed waiters at higher end restaurants often whip away the white napkins, leaving black ones in their place. This has been puzzling. It even got to the stage where I Googled 'Black Napkin' once, but still did not find an answer.

So for years this has been a mystery. Was it that I and my fellow diners look like messy eaters, or potential red-wine spillers?

Last night Shawn's fiancé asked a waiter. Apparently it only happens if you are wearing dark clothes. Placing a white napkin on a black dress it could (horror of horrors) leave visible lint from white napkins; obviously that would lead to social exclusion from the trendy in-crowd.

So who invents these ideas? Has anyone ever seen the black napkin thing outside of the USA?