17 years ago, Nick Burchill was banned from The Fairmont Empress in Victoria, Canada. At the time, he humbly accepted his punishment. Now, however, with years of learning and soul-searching behind him, Burchill returned to the scene where he was once thrown out to ask if the ban may be lifted. In order to secure his forgiveness, however, he had to tell the story of why he was banned in the first place and WOW it's a doozy of a tale.
A fancy hotel. A suitcase full of pepperoni. An open window. And seagulls — lots and lots of seagulls. Read on, dear reader. Posh B.C. hotel lifts 17-year ban on Nova Scotia man https://t.co/Xxiy4tumqa— Kurt Repchull (@PsychedRacer) April 2, 2018
In a widely circulated Facebook post, Burchill sets the scene:
In 2001, I had recently joined my current employer,
xxxxxxxxxand I was also in the Canadian Naval Reserve. xxxxxxxxxwas hosting a customer conference at the Empress and it was my first event with the company.
I told my Navy buddies that I was coming out West and I was asked to bring “Brother’s Pepperoni” from Halifax. It is a local delicacy. Because this was the Navy we were talking about, I brought enough for a ship. In a hurry, I had completely filled a suitcase with pepperoni for my friends. Some of it was wrapped in plastic, some in brown paper. I took whatever Brothers would sell me.
This is the bag that the airline misplaced.
The bag reappeared the next day. I knew that the pepperoni would still be “good”. It had only been at room temperature for a short time. It would, however, be quite some time before I could turn it over to my friends.Nick Burchill/Facebook
Just to be safe, I decided that I should keep it cool.
After leaving the hotel briefly, Burchill returned to a living nightmare:
When I had covered enough ground, I returned to the hotel. 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.
I’m sure you have an image in your head.Nick Burchill/Facebook
Nowremember that I have just walked into the room and startled all of these birds. 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.
Things went from bad to worse…
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. The lamps were falling. The curtains were trashed. The coffee tray was just disgusting.
I waded through the birds and opened the remaining windows. Most of the gulls left immediately. One tried to re-enter the room to grab another piece of pepperoni and in my agitated state, I took off one of my shoes and threw it at him.
Both the gull and the shoe went out the window. By this time, I was down to one gull left in the room, but it was a big one, and it didn’t want to leave. As I chased it, it ran around the room with a big hunk of pepperoni in its gob. In a moment of clarity, I grabbed a bath-towel and jumped it. It started to freak-out so I wrapped it in the towel and threw it out of the window.
I had forgotten that Seagulls cannot fly when they are wrapped in a towel. This is all happening fairly quickly and this is mid-afternoon. The Empress hosts a very famous and very popular “High Tea”. I suspect this is where the large group of tourists was heading when they were struck by first my shoe, then a bound-up seagull (the seagull was unharmed, by the way).Nick Burchill/Facebook
After recovering his shoe, Burchill had to try and salvage the situation.
intothe washroom and rinsed the mud off of my shoe. It cleaned-up nicely, but now I had one wet, dark shoe, and one dry, light colouredshoe.
In retrospect, I should have just wet the dry shoe. Instead, I choose to dry the wet shoe using the little hairdryer. It was actually doing quite well. I had the hairdryer jammed in there and the shoe was drying quite nicely. Then, the phone rang.
I walked into the next room to answer it and the power goes off. ItNick Burchill/Facebook
turns-outthat the hairdryer had vibrated free of the shoe and fallen into the sink full of water and the GFI didn’t seembe 100% functional. I don’t know how much of the hotel’s power I knocked-out, but at that pointI decided I needed help.
Twitter couldn't believe what they were reading!
I am in tears of laughter from this story! “The seagulls were flying everywhere and they had been there for a long time eating Brothers TNT Pepperoni, so you can imagine what the room looked like”https://t.co/R8Pqa2SzRR pic.twitter.com/fcTPJt2g6h— Emily Loewen (@erfloewen) April 2, 2018
favourite part is where he says "East Coast seagulls aren't that brazen. They'd never come into a room or do that sort of thing..."https://t.co/imRdMaAVgj— ben bradley (@benbradleyca) April 2, 2018
This could be a new Clue category, "it was the seagull in the Empress with a pepperoni...." https://t.co/AW8RnxeIiq— Mike Devlin (@MrMikeDevlin) April 2, 2018
The story is almost too good to be true.
https://t.co/zCVQ81CIhY This is straight out of a Mr.Bean movie I swear ?— Effie ✖️ (@effsxo) April 2, 2018
To anyone who is feeling down today or just wants to read a wonderful, funny story about a man, some seagulls and pepperoni -- this is the story for you: https://t.co/U8SlgdNmHs— Kristin Annable (@kristinannable) April 2, 2018
After a cleaning crew dealt with his room, Burchill was informed he'd been banned from The Empress.
I have matured and I admit responsibility for my actions. I come to you, hat-in-hand to
apologisefor 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 18 yearaway from the empress as “time served”.
Thank you very much for your consideration.Nick Burchill/Facebook
Fortunately, the story has a happy ending 17 years in the making!
After reviewing my application for a pardon with the Empress staff; Ryan, the manager has notified me verbally that I will once again be welcome as a guest. I bet it was the pound of Brothers Pepperoni that I gave them as a peace offering that did the trick.Nick Burchill/Facebook
Meanwhile, in Canada, justice is served… https://t.co/3hNi0Ebu71— AlienDNA ? (@AlienDNA) April 2, 2018