A Canadian hotel has forgiven a customer banned from the premises 17 years ago after his pepperoni stash attracted a flock of crazed seagulls.
Nick Burchill wrote an open letter to the Fairmont Empress Hotel in British Columbia on Facebook in which he apologised for the bizarre incident, which occurred in 2001.
Burchill, from Nova Scotia, was travelling to British Columbia for work, and had agreed to bring a supply of a Nova Scotian local delicacy - Brother’s Pepperoni - for friends stationed nearby in the Canadian Naval Reserve.
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“Because this was the Navy we were talking about, I brought enough for a ship,” he explained in the letter, which he shared in a Facebook post.
To keep the pepperoni from going off before meeting his friends, Burchill spread the packages out in front of his hotel room’s open window and headed out.
Returning a few hours later, he opened the door to find “an entire flock of seagulls in my room”.
“There must have been 40 of them,” he wrote. “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.”
“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.”
The result was “a tornado of seagull excrement, feathers, pepperoni chunks and fairly large birds whipping around the room”.
After describing his attempts to clear the room of gulls in a similarly evocative manner, Burchill adds that his attempts to use a hairdryer to dry a sodden shoe resulted in knocking out the hotel’s electricity - finally prompting him to seek help from hotel staff.
“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.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Burchill later received a letter banning him from the Empress.
“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,” he wrote in the letter, which he delivered to the hotel by hand.
“Although few staff remained from the time when Burchill’s room was trashed by pepperoni-loving seagulls, his story had been passed down as legend,” the National Post reports.
Unsurprisingly, the bizarre tale attracted attention - the post has now been shared more than 6,000 times
Tracey Drake, the Empress hotel's public relations director, admitted that she initially thought the tale could have been a April Fools' Day prank, but hotel records confirmed Burchill's stay - and his lifetime ban,
"It is absolutely a true story,'' she told HuffPost Canada.
Days after Burchill’s apology found viral fame, he got his wish when the Empress’ management rescinded the lifetime ban in a tweet:
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