A man is being allowed back at a hotel following a 17-year ban for an incident involving a suitcase full of pepperoni, a flock of hungry seagulls, and an open window, and WHOO BOY, let's get into it.
Our tale starts way back in 2001, when Nick Burchill, who lives in Nova Scotia, Canada, was staying at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria for a business event — his first working for the company.
A spokesperson for the hotel, as well as Burchill, confirmed the following events to BuzzFeed News.
In a letter to the hotel he shared Friday on Facebook, Burchill said he had purchased a suitcase's worth of pepperoni for some friends in the Navy.
"Because this was the Navy we were talking about, I brought enough for a ship," Burchill wrote in the post.
Unfortunately, the hotel room didn't have a refrigerator, so he decided to leave his pepperoni stash in front of a big window, which he left partially open, to stay cool.
"I lifted one of the sashes and spread the packages of pepperoni out on the table and window sill," Burchill wrote. "Then, I went for a walk…..for about 4 or 5 hours."
Seems like a nice idea, right?
When Burchill returned to his room, he found a sight to behold: an entire flock of seagulls gorging themselves on his trove of pepperoni.
"I didn’t have time to count, but there must have been 40 of them," Burchill wrote. "And they had been in my room, eating pepperoni for a long time."
And, as Burchill learned, pepperoni "does NASTY things to a seagull’s digestive system."
"As you would expect, the room was covered in seagull crap," he wrote. "What I did not realize until then was that seagulls also drool. Especially when they eat pepperoni."
Stuff got worse from there. Startled by Burchill's entrance, the birds started flying everywhere and crashing into things, resulting in "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," Burchill wrote.
Burchill opened the window all the way to let them out, and "most of the gulls left immediately."
Still, a couple particularly persistent birds weren't ready to give up.
"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," Burchill wrote. "Both the gull and the shoe went out the window."
With one large seagull left in the room, Burchill said he "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," he wrote. "I had forgotten that seagulls cannot fly when they are wrapped in a towel."
The shoe — and the towel-wrapped seagull — apparently struck a large group of tourists on the way down. The seagull was unharmed, Burchill added.
To make matters worse, let us recall that this is occurring during Burchill's first business trip with a new company. And he just threw his shoe out of the window before an important dinner.
After retrieving his shoe outside — and realizing he wasn't going to be able to clean up the mess alone — Burchill decided it was time to call for backup. So he phoned the front desk for some help.
"I can still remember the look on the lady’s face when she opened the door," Burchill wrote. "I had absolutely no idea what to tell her, so I just said 'I’m sorry' and I went to dinner."
When he got back from dinner, Burchill's things had been relocated to a smaller room.
Additionally, a letter was sent to his company saying he would be banned from the hotel — "a ban that I have respected for almost 18 years," Burchill wrote.
Burchill concluded his letter with a request for the 17-year ban to finally be lifted.
"I have matured and I admit responsibility for my actions," Burchill wrote. "I come to you, hat-in-hand to apologise 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 18 [years] away from the Empress as 'time served,'" he wrote.
On Saturday, an employee of the hotel told Burchill he would, at last, be welcome back at the Empress.
The hotel's public relations director, Tracey Drake, confirmed to BuzzFeed News the ban had been lifted.
Burchill thanked the hotel by delivering a special gift of — you guessed it — pepperoni.
Drake said that "several of our long tenured colleagues remember [the incident] well" and were "as amused as everyone else to read the letter from Mr. Burchill."
"His series of unfortunate events happened so many years ago, and we were happy to review Mr. Burchill’s letter and have since lifted the ban," said Drake.
"We look forward to welcoming Mr. Burchill to Fairmont Empress again in the future," said Drake. "And since our $60M restoration in 2017, he will be delighted to know that the rooms have modern amenities and air conditioning to keep his pepperoni cool."
Burchill told BuzzFeed News he is pleased that he "got the pardon [he] was looking for" from the hotel.
"They have been great sports about the whole thing," said Burchill. "I don't think I would have been as gracious."
Julia Reinstein is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Julia Reinstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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