A Canadian man is asking forgiveness for a birdbrained thing he did 17 years ago: inadvertently encouraging seagulls to trash his hotel room.
Back in 2001, Nick Burchill checked into the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, for a business meeting with clients at a new job.
He also brought some pepperoni from his hometown to share with former Navy buddies in the area. But his room had no fridge so he opened a window to keep it cool. And then he went for a long walk.
That’s when things got messy. Really messy.
Hungry seagulls invaded the room to eat the spicy meat and, in the process, completely destroyed it.
The result was such a housekeeping nightmare that the Fairmont Empress permanently banned him.
Recently, Burchill apologized to the hotel in hopes of removing the stain from his good name. In the process, his Facebook post recounting the incident that led to the ban has gone viral.
Burchill’s story began with good intentions. He was taking a small suitcase full of Brothers Pepperoni — a delicatessen delicacy associated with his hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia ― to friends in Victoria.
The hotel room had no refrigerator and Burchill feared the pepperoni might go bad in the warm room. So he laid out the goodies on a table near an open window and went out.
Spoiler alert: bad idea.
I remember walking down the long hall and opening the door to my room to find an entire flock of seagulls in my room. 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.
In case you were wondering, Brothers’ TNT Pepperoni does NASTY things to a seagull’s digestive system. As you would expect, the room was covered in seagull crap. What I did not realize until then was that Seagulls also drool. Especially when they eat pepperoni.
When he walked into the room, Burchill recalled he startled the birds. They “immediately started flying around and crashing into things as they desperately tried to leave the room.”
The result was a tornado of seagull excrement, feathers, pepperoni chunks and fairly large birds whipping around the room. The lamps were falling. The curtains were trashed. The coffee tray was just disgusting.
Eventually, Burchill called the front desk and requested help cleaning up the room.
I can still remember the look on the lady’s face when she opened the door. I had absolutely no Idea what to tell her, so I just said “I’m sorry” and I went to dinner. When I came back, my things had been moved to a much smaller room.
A short time later, Burchill’s employer received a note from the hotel saying he’d been banned for life.
That is until recently, when Burchill visited the hotel to apologize in person.
He hoped to make amends with the woman who had to clean the seagull-and-pepperoni-trashed room, but was told she was no longer there.
“When I was talking to the people at the desk and the manager, they did say that they had heard this story from a long-term employee that works there,” Burchill told Yahoo! News Canada. “I was just kind of in and out. I didn’t want to overstay my welcome.”
So he “just apologized. I was forgiven. I left them a present of about a pound of Brothers TNT Pepperoni as a peace offering.”
It seemed to have worked.
Burchill told Yahoo! News Canada that the hotel staff encouraged him to book a room there the next time he’s in Victoria.
“I’ve made friends with one of the managers there and he’s made it quite clear that I’m encouraged to stay with them,” Burchill said. “They’ll be disappointed if I don’t.”
As far-fetched as his story sounds, a hotel spokesperson confirmed to the Victoria Times Colonist newspaper that Burchill’s tale was legit.
His complete Facebook post appears below: