For the last 17 years, Nick Burchill from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, has been banned from staying at the Fairmont Empress hotel in Victoria, Canada. Why? Because almost two decades ago, he brought a suitcase full of pepperoni into his room and ended up causing a minor seagull infestation before accidentally cutting the building’s power. Talk about awkward! Now, he’s finally petitioned to be allowed to return to the Fairmont Empress, and his application for a “pardon” — in which he explains the full story — will have you crying with laughter.
Back in 2001, Burchill joined his unnamed current employer, but at the time, he was also a part of the Canadian Naval Reserve. When he told his Navy buddies he was attending a conference in Victoria, he was asked to bring back pepperoni from Brother’s, a “local delicacy.” Beause Burchill had to bring back enough for his ship, he stuffed his suitcase full of as much meat as Brother’s would sell him.
In his room, Burchill decided it would be best to keep his meat cool because it would be some time before he could bring it back to the boys. There wasn’t a refrigerator in his room, so Burchill opened a window and laid out his pepperoni. Then he went for a walk. Fast-forward roughly four or five hours later, and Burchill opens the door to his room.”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,” he wrote.
We’ll refrain from discussing in detail what he said next, but just imagine what cured meat does to a seagull’s digestive system. Now picture that plus globs of seagull drool (because yes, according to Burchill, seagulls drool). That’s one mental image we’re sure you want to forget ASAP.
“Now remember 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,” Burchill continues. “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.”
At this point, our stomachs hurt from laughing — but the story gets even better (or worse, depending on how you want to look at things). When Burchill opens the other windows, all the seagulls evacuate — except for two not-so-smart birds. Not thinking straight and obviously frazzled, Burchill takes off his shoe and throws it at one of the birds. Out the window goes the bird, as does his shoe, surprising the guests on the ground who are heading to the Empress’ famous afternoon tea. As for the second bird, Burchill throws a towel over it before throwing it out the window, only to realize that seagulls — when covered in a towel — cannot fly. The seagull ended up being just fine, but we’re not so sure about those tourists below who were no doubt traumatized by not only a flying shoe but also a falling seagull wrapped in a towel.
Because he had a work event later that evening, Burchill had to go downstairs to retrieve his shoe, which was now wet. Back in his room, he tries drying off his shoe with the hair dryer. Everything’s working out alright — barring the fact that his room has been destroyed and now reeks of seagull poo and pepperoni — when Burchill gets a phone call. He walks into the next room to answer it, but suddenly, the power goes out. “It turns out that the hair dryer had vibrated free of the shoe and fallen into the sink full of water, and the GFI didn’t seem be 100-percent functional. I don’t know how much of the hotel’s power I knocked out, but at that point I decided I needed help.”
And help came in the form of a very shocked hotel employee. “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.” After that, Burchill’s employers received a letter saying Burchill would be banned from the Empress.
After reading Burchill’s letter, the hotel has decided to lift their ban and let Burchill be a guest at the Empress. “I bet it was the pound of Brothers Pepperoni that I gave them as a peace offering that did the trick,” Burchill joked. Too funny! Now we don’t feel so bad about our kids getting hyped up on sugar and accidentally vomiting in our hotel room.
Not a fan of having shoes and birds fall on you while on vacation? You won’t have to worry about that at the world’s first hotel in space.