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Man Whose Hotel Room Was Trashed by Angry, Pepperoni-Crazed Seagulls Is Forgiven

Picture of Alice Johnston
Social Content Producer
Updated: 6 April 2018
A Canadian has been ‘pardoned’ by a luxury hotel for the damage that was caused when a marauding flock of angry seagulls ransacked his room in search of pepperoni 17 years ago.

Nick Burchill from Nova Scotia was staying at the Fairmont Express Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, when ‘a string of unfortunate events’ led to him being banned from the hotel in 2001.

An ominous seagull
An ominous seagull | © Engin_Akyurt / Pixabay

According to a Facebook post, the issues started when he brought a case of Brothers Pepperoni, a delicacy of the area, back to his hotel room. He was intending to bring it to his friends in the navy on the west coat of America.

As it was April, he didn’t want to leave the meat out in the room, fearing it would spoil, and opened the window so the air would keep it cool. ‘I lifted one of the sashes and spread the packages of pepperoni out on the table and windowsill. Then, I went for a walk… for about four or five hours,’ he wrote.

In the widely shared post, he describes what happened next. He returned to the room to a scene of devastation. ‘An entire flock’ of seagulls were in his room and had been eating the pepperoni, which as it turns out ‘does NASTY things to a seagull’s digestive system’.

The startled birds ‘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 said.

‘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.’

Seagulls are apparently big fans of pepperoni
Seagulls are apparently big fans of pepperoni | © RitaE / Pixabay

He opened the window wider to let them out and, luckily, ‘most of the gulls left immediately’.

However, a few particularly greedy birds weren’t yet ready to give to give up on the pepperoni feast.

Burchill continued: ‘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.’

With only one avian impostor left in the room, a piece of pepperoni still clasped in its beak, Burchill lost the plot and ‘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 said. ‘I had forgotten that seagulls cannot fly when they are wrapped in a towel.’

Both the shoe and the towel-wrapped seagull struck a group of tourists queuing for the hotel’s afternoon tea. The seagull was unharmed.

Although glad that his room was now seagull free, Burchill realised that he had an important business dinner in a few minutes and was without his shoe.

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I officially applied to be allowed to stay at the empress hotel again. Here is my letter. Waiting for the reply. 18… Posted by Nick Burchill on Friday, March 30, 2018

He retrieved both the shoe and the towel from outside, both covered in mud. However, his situation further deteriorated when in washing and blow-drying his shoe, he knocked the hairdryer into the sink and caused a power outage in the hotel.

Finally defeated and accepting that he needed help, he called housekeeping to help clean up the mess in his room.

He said: ‘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.’

Soon after the incident, the company he worked for received a letter stating that Burchill was no longer welcome to stay at the hotel.

Seventeen years later, he sent a letter asking for the hotel’s forgiveness, along with a pound of pepperoni for good feelings.

He wrote: ‘I have matured and I admit responsibility for my actions. 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”.’

The Empress’s director of public relations confirmed that the tale was true and was well-remembered by long-serving hotel staff, saying: ‘It’s one of those things where you can’t make this stuff up.’

Burchill has stated that he was delighted that he ‘got the pardon [he] was looking for’. He commented: ‘They have been great sports about the whole thing. I don’t think I would have been as gracious.’