A Canadian Hotel has lifted a 17-year ban on a former guest whose well-intentioned actions led to a “tornado of seagull excrement, feathers, pepperoni chunks,” and the unwitting assault of a tourist with a towel-wrapped wild bird.
Nick Burchill took to Facebook last week to plead for clemency — and explain the scenario — which has since been compared to iconic British comedy, Monty Python.
“17 Years ago a string of unfortunate events led to my being banned from your hotel,” Mr Burchill wrote.
Nick Burchill Facebook: officially applied to be allowed to stay at the empress hotel again. Here is my letter. Waiting for the reply. 18 years is a long time
He had just started a new job, and was at the Fairmont Empress hotel to host a customer conference.
At the time, he was also a member of the Canadian Naval Reserve, and decided to use the trip to also ferry a suitcase full of a local delicacy “Brother’s Pepperoni” to his Navy buddies.
The airline misplaced his luggage, but despite the pepperoni’s unexpected journey, he thought it would still be good if it cooled down.
There wasn’t a refrigerator in the room, so Mr Burchill spread the smallgoods on a table and the sill of an open window to cool in the brisk Canadian weather.
“Then, I went for a walk … for about 4 or 5 hours.”
‘Both the gull and the shoe went out the window’
“I remember … opening the door to my room to find an entire flock of seagulls … there must have been 40 of them,” Mr Burchill wrote.
“In case you were wondering, Brothers’ TNT Pepperoni does NASTY things to a seagull’s digestive system.”
His return startled the drooling, pepperoni chomping gulls.
“The result was a tornado of seagull excrement, feathers, pepperoni chunks and fairly large birds whipping around the room.”
He waded through the trashed room to open the remaining windows and the flock made a hasty exit — all except two.
One greedy gull chucked an avian u-turn, gliding back in for seconds. Mr Burchill threw a shoe at it, and both footwear and bird went out the window.
‘I had forgotten that Seagulls can’t fly … in a towel’
Mr Burchill grabbed a bath towel and jumped the last gull standing but “started to freak-out” and he “wrapped it in the towel and threw it out of the window”.
@FairmontEmpress: We were as amused by Mr. Burchill’s letter as everyone else was. We look forward to welcoming him back again
Unfortunately, about the same time, a large group of tourists were heading for the hotel’s famous high tea, and wandering near his window.
“They were struck by first my shoe, then a bound-up seagull (the seagull was unharmed, by the way),” he wrote.
“I had forgotten that Seagulls cannot fly when they are wrapped in a towel.”
But the story does not end there.
One foot in front of the other
Generally two shoes are required to host a conference, so he retrieved his recently airborne, now rather soiled shoe, and gave it a wash.
He “jammed” the hotel hairdryer in the cavity to speed the drying process. It worked quite well, at first. Until the phone rang.
“I walked into the next room to answer it and the power goes off. It turns-out that the hairdryer had vibrated free of the shoe and fallen into the sink full of water…I don’t know how much of the hotel’s power I knocked-out.”
The Fairmont Express wrote in a Tweet that the hotel was ready to welcome the bungle-prone former guest back with open arms.
Mr Burchill later said he paired his application for a pardon with a gift for the hotel.
“I bet it was the pound of Brothers Pepperoni that I gave them as a peace offering that did the trick,” he wrote.