If you visit Halifax, Nova Scotia, you’ve probably had their version of pepperoni. Smoked with maple, and based on an old family recipe, it’s a memorable and delicious take on a well-loved sausage that they deep fry or eat straight from the bag (although weirdly not in pepperoni’s usual culinary setting, the pizza). But even if you don’t go to Canada, you’re probably familiar with seagulls and their propensity to eat anything. So, with that in mind, we bring you the tragic story of Nick Burchill, and how the road to a feathery hell is paved with good intentions.
Burchill relays the whole story in a long (but so so funny) Facebook post, written to the Fairmont Empress hotel, that starts seventeen years ago with Nick wishing to bring the joy of Halifax pepperoni with his fellow sailors in the Canadian Navy Reserve. He brought a lot of it — as in a whole suitcase’s worth — which was promptly “lost” by the airline and probably missing a few sticks by the time he got it back. He was so frazzled that when he the case made it to the hotel, he put it in his room and then left to take care of some business, which took him four or five hours.
One problem: He left his window open. Yeah… remember when we mentioned those seagulls?
I remember walking down the long hall and opening the door to my room to find an entire flock of seagulls in my room….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.
I’m sure you have an image in your head. Now remember that I have just walked into the room and startled all of these birds. 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.
Less composed seagulls are attempting to leave through the other CLOSED windows. The result was a tornado of seagull excrement, feathers, pepperoni chunks and fairly large birds whipping around the room. The lamps were falling. The curtains were trashed.
Oh, but it gets worse. Even after opening the windows, two seagulls did not want to leave. One departed after our hero chucked a shoe at it, while the other had to be hunted down, trapped with a towel, and flung out the window (hitting a tourist; fortunately, both survive.)
The most urgent problem seemingly resolved, Nick went back to gets his shoe and wash off some muck.
In retrospect, I should have just wet the dry shoe. Instead, I choose to dry the wet shoe using the little hairdryer. It was actually doing quite well. I had the hairdryer jammed in there and the shoe was drying quite nicely. Then, 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 and the GFI didn’t seem be 100% functional. I don’t know how much of the hotel’s power I knocked-out, but at that point I decided I needed help.
I called the front desk and asked for someone to come help me clean-up a mess. 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. When I came back, my things had been moved to a much 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.
And for eighteen years, that was that. But today we’re happy to report Nick was granted a pardon. He’s allowed to stay at the hotel again and celebrated by delivering pepperoni sticks to the hotel staff. If you were wondering just how the Fairmont’s team received the story, a picture is worth a thousand words: