A posh hotel in British Columbia, Canada, has lifted a 17-year ban against a customer who inadvertently caused extensive damage to the room he was staying in by leaving a suitcase full of pepperoni next to an open window.
In 2001, Nick Burchill was staying at the Fairmont Empress in Victoria, B.C., on business. With him, Burchill brought a suitcase full of Brothers TNT Pepperoni – a specialty item from his hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia, he wrote in a Facebook post addressed to the hotel.
“I told my Navy buddies that I was coming out West and I was asked to bring ‘Brother’s Pepperoni’ from Halifax. It is a local delicacy. Because this was the Navy we were talking about, I brought enough for a ship. In a hurry, I had completely filled a suitcase with pepperoni for my friends,” he wrote in the post.
When Burchill checked in to the hotel room, he realized it did not have a refrigerator. Burchill was concerned about the meat staying out, so he placed it next to an open window for the chilly air to keep the pepperoni cold.
Burchill then decided to leave his room and take a “4 or 5 hour” walk – and when he came back, he discovered a room full of seagulls.
“I didn’t have time to count, but there must have been 40 [seagulls] and they had been in my room, eating pepperoni for a long time,” he wrote.
Burchill told CBC the seagulls were “flying around, the curtains are falling down, the lamps are falling down.” Not to mention the seagull droppings, which Burchill said the “room was covered in,” as well as seagull “drool,” which the man claims happens when seagulls eat pepperoni.
"One was just bouncing around on the windowsill and I was kind of losing my temper at this point, so I took off one of my shoes and I threw it in the direction of the seagull, and both the seagull and the shoe went out the window."
Burchill managed to get most of the birds out of the room, but had to take more extreme measures for the last two.
"One was just bouncing around on the windowsill and I was kind of losing my temper at this point, so I took off one of my shoes and I threw it in the direction of the seagull, and both the seagull and the shoe went out the window," he said.
For the last stubborn bird, Burchill said he had to wrap it in a hotel towel and throw it out the window. Burchill told CBC the bird was fine.
To make matters worse, when Burchill retrieved his shoe, he saw it had landed in mud. Since he had to meet a client that evening, he returned to his room to use the hairdryer to clean his shoe and shorted the power.
At that point, Burchill called down to the front desk to ask for some assistance.
"They sent this poor lady up and I still remember the look on her face when she opened the door,” he told CBC.
“She had her cleaning kit with her and it was quite clear that the kit that she had with her was not going to cover the damage and the mess that was in that room,” he added.
In the Facebook post Burchill said he apologized to the woman and then went to meet his client. When he came back the hotel had moved him to a smaller room.
“I thought that was the end of it all until I was told that my company had received a letter banning me from the Empress. A ban that I have respected for almost 18 years,” he writes.
However, 17 years later, Burchill wanted to reach out and apologize to the hotel over the damage he caused and ask the swanky hotel to “reconsider” his lifetime ban.
“I hope that you will see fit to either grant me a pardon, or consider my 18 year away from the empress as ‘time served’,” he wrote on Facebook.
Lucky for Burchill, who stopped by the hotel to deliver an apology and a pound of Brothers TNT Pepperoni as a peace offering, the hotel agreed to lift his ban.
“I’ve made friends with one of the managers there and he’s made it quite clear that I’m encouraged to stay with them,” Burchill explained to CBC. “They’ll be disappointed if I don’t.”