A Canadian hotel has lifted its ban on a man banned 18 years ago, due to an unfortunate incident with a large amount of pepperoni and a flock of seagulls.
Writing on Facebook, Nova Scotia man described the incident, which occurred in 2001 on a business trip to Victoria BC, staying at the Empress Hotel. He was also in the Canadian Naval Reserve and was asked by Navy friends in the area to bring along a local delicacy – Brother's Pepperoni from Halifax.
"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.
The bag was misplaced by his airline, but reappeared the next day.
"The bag reappeared the next day. I knew that the pepperoni would still be "good". It had only been at room temperature for a short time. It would, however, be quite some time before I could turn it over to my friends. Just to be safe, I decided that I should keep it cool."
As the weather was cold and his room at the Empress did not have a refridgerator, Burchill decided the best thing to do to keep his pepperoni cool was to keep it by an open window – which he did, before heading out for four to five hours.
When he returned, he opened the door to his room to discover "an entire flock of seagulls" inside.
"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.
"In case you were wondering, Brothers' TNT Pepperoni does NASTY things to a seagull's digestive system. As you would expect, the room was covered in seagull crap."
As he entered, the birds became startled and chaos ensued.
"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," he wrote. "The result was a tornado of seagull excrement, feathers, pepperoni chunks and fairly large birds whipping around the room."
After a bird attempted to reenter the room, an agitated Burchill threw his shoe at it. Eventually only one seagull remained, which he ejected from the room by capturing it in a towel and throwing it out the window.
Unfortunately, both items hit a group of tourists as they walked to high tea at the hotel.
And if you didn't think things could get any worse, Burchill went to retrieve his shoe, found it in a wet patch outside and attempted to dry it with a hairdryer in his room. Then the phone rang, causing him to drop the hairdryer into a sink full of water in surprise.
"I don't know how much of the hotel's power I knocked-out, but at that point I decided I needed help," he wrote.
Burchill was moved to another room, but after his eventful stay, his company received a letter banning him from the Empress.
After 18 years passed and he returned to the city, he decided to reach out and make peace with the hotel.
"I have matured and I admit responsibility for my actions," he wrote." 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."
Tracey Drake, the Empress's director of public relations, told the Times Colonist that the out there story was in fact true – although she thought it was an April Fools joke at first, long term staff confirmed it.
"It's one of those things where you can't make this stuff up," she said.
After visiting the Empress Hotel over Easter weekend, Burchill was welcomed back as a quest by Ryan Reardon, the hotel's director of rooms.
"I bet it was the pound of Brothers pepperoni that I gave them as a peace offering that did the trick," Burchill joked on Facebook.