A popular hotel in the resort city of Victoria, British Columbia, has agreed to “pardon” a visitor from a permanent ban for a “string of unfortunate events” that developed in 2001 and involved some pepperoni and a flock of sea gulls.
It was the Times Colonist that reported how Nick Burchill recently had written to the Fairmont Empress, which he last visited in 2001.
“I come to you, hat-in-hand, to apologize for the damage I had indirectly come to cause and to ask you reconsider my lifetime ban from the property. I hope that you will see fit to either grant me a pardon, or consider my … years away from the Empress as ‘time served.'”
The hotel’s public relations director said the experience Burchill had is “one of those things where you can’t make this stuff up,” and said the hotel had agreed to allow Burchill to visit once again.
It was 17 years ago that Burchill was in town for a conference, and as a member of the Canadian Naval Reserve, had responded when navy buddies asked him to deliver a quantity of Brothers pepperoni, a Halifax delicacy.
“I brought enough for a ship,” Burchill explained in a social media posting on the “ordeal.”
The Colonist explained: “His pepperoni-packed suitcase was misplaced by the airline and arrived in Victoria a day late. Burchill felt the pepperoni was still edible but thought he should keep it cool until he turned over the goods.”
With no refrigerator in his room, he thought it would be easy to just leave it next to an open window. After all, it was April and still cool.
So he did.
When he returned, hours later, he found, in his room, enjoying the pepperoni, sea gulls.
“I remember walking down the long hall and opening the door to my room to find an entire flock of seagulls in my room,” Burchill said in the Colonist report. “I didn’t have time to count, but there must have been 40 of them and they had been in my room, eating pepperoni for a long time.”
The proof was, well, everywhere, he said. So was the fact “spicy pepperoni does not agree with a seagulls’ digestive system.”
“They immediately started flying around and crashing into things as they desperately tried to leave the room through the small opening by which they had entered,” he reported. “Less composed seagulls are attempting to leave through the other closed windows. The result was a tornado of seagull excrement, feathers, pepperoni chunks and fairly large birds whipping around the room.”
Trying to chase the birds out, he grabbed a shoe and threw it at a bird.
The last bird he got by wrapping it in a towel and tossing it out the window.
Pressed for time to go to his scheduled dinner with customers, he chased down his shoe, from the lawn, and since it was wet, tried a hairdryer to fix that. His phone rang, and he was startled, dropping the dryer into a sink filled with water.
“I don’t know how much of the hotel’s power I knocked out, but at that point I decided I needed help,” Burchill said.
He turned the situation over to the hotel cleaning staff, found later his belongings had been moved to a smaller room, and then his company got a letter asking him to enjoy his hotel stays – somewhere else.