July 8, 2011

Newt Gingrich Still Waiting For a Table at Perkins


CORALVILLE, IA -- Former Republican Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, has been waiting nearly an hour for a table at Coralville’s Perkins Restaurant & Bakery on 1st Avenue at the corner of 9th Street.

“This is getting ridiculous,” said Mr. Gingrich, who was once the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives and second in line of presidential succession. “It doesn’t seem that busy.”

Sandra Keppelman, a hostess at the restaurant, told reporters that she expects Mr. Gingrich and his party -- a six-top consisting of Mr. Gingrich, three political aides, his personal assistant, and his future mistress -- to be seated shortly.

“I quoted them at forty-five minutes,” said Ms. Keppelman, referring to the amount of time Mr. Gingrich’s party was told they would likely have to wait. “It’s been, like, fifty. I don’t know why they’re freaking out.”

A table for six should be opening up shortly, according to Ms. Keppelman.

“It might be just a little tight at table twelve,” she told reporters. “I’m going to wait a few more minutes to see if seventeen gets up. There’s more room there.”

Mr. Gingrich is in Iowa for a series of lectures intended to generate publicity in the sate for his upcoming presidential campaign, which kicks off with a Republican straw poll in Ames on August 13.

The timing of his arrival at Perkins could not have been worse, according to restaurant expert Dicky Bloads.

“This is right in the middle of the lunch rush,” he said. “Plus, Thursday is when all the old people from the assisted living facility down the street come in.

“There’s no way [the Gingrich campaign] could have known that, of course,” Mr. Bloads continued. “But they should have had an idea that it was going to be a long wait when they pulled into a totally full parking lot.”

Mr. Gingrich has already announced his intention to ask for a manager if his party is not seated in the next five minutes.

“What, are we fucking invisible over here?” he asked. “We’re just trying to get some goddamn lunch, maybe a peanut butter silk pie. At this point, we might not even have time for dessert. Fuck.”

Ms. Keppelman says that she could have sat the Gingrich party of six about twenty minutes ago, but she didn’t want to go out of her way to accommodate them.

“We could have pushed together tables two and three,” she said. “But I didn’t necessarily want to help them out. That guy [Mr. Gingrich] was a real dick to me when he came in.”