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How A Suitcase Full Of Pepperoni And A Flock Of Seagulls Caused Chaos In A Hotel Room


This next story is a series of unfortunate events that involves a suitcase of pepperoni, a flock of seagulls and a lifetime ban from a Canadian hotel.


Let's back up.

KELLY: Yeah.

CORNISH: Seventeen years ago, Nick Burchill was staying at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in British Columbia. He was out there on business and planning to visit some Navy buddies in the area.

KELLY: Yeah. They asked him to bring some pepperoni from back east from Brothers Meats in Halifax, a local delicacy. So he filled a suitcase full of pepperoni.


NICK BURCHILL: When I showed up at the hotel, I was kind of worried that it would be warm, so I laid it out on the window ledge on the table in the room.

KELLY: Bad idea. He thought his pepperoni was safe and well chilled and he left.

CORNISH: That's when he says things went wrong. He told this story to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.


BURCHILL: When I came back, the room was full of seagulls. And I don't mean just a couple of seagulls. It was somewhere between 30 and 40 seagulls that had come in through this open window while I was gone.

KELLY: When he opened the door, the seagulls went wild. They rushed to the window, 30 or 40 birds all trying to get out at the same time, and pepperoni - everywhere.


BURCHILL: They had been there for a long time eating Brothers TNT pepperoni. So you can imagine what the room looked like even before I came back. And now we've got seagulls flying around, the curtains are falling down, the lamps are falling down. It was a real mess.

CORNISH: And two of the seagulls wouldn't leave.


BURCHILL: One was 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.

KELLY: Which left just one seagull.


BURCHILL: I was chasing the seagull around. It had a big piece of pepperoni in its mouth. And I could not get it to leave. So I went in, and I grabbed a towel, and I jumped the seagull, and I wrapped it in a towel and threw it out the window.

KELLY: Threw it out the window right into the hotel's afternoon high tea.

CORNISH: Yeah. He was banned for life from the hotel.

KELLY: Nick Burchill says after nearly 18 years, he has matured. He admits responsibility for what happened. And last week, he sent the Fairmont Empress a letter of apology.

CORNISH: The hotel accepted it and told him he's welcome back any time.

KELLY: Must've been the pound of Brothers pepperoni he sent with his letter that did the trick.


A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS: (Singing) I walk along the avenue... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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