April 14, 2018


40 Sea Gulls Wrecked His Hotel Room. 17 Years Later, a Pepperoni Pardon. (YONETTE JOSEPH, APRIL 14, 2018, NY Times)

It all started, said Mr. Burchill, a 49-year-old salesman from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, when he went to Victoria 17 years ago for a conference hosted by his new employer. He planned to see friends from the Canadian Naval Reserves, and had promised to bring them a local delicacy from home: Chris Brothers TNT Pepperoni.

He filled a whole suitcase. "I brought enough for a ship," he wrote.

When he landed, the airline could not find the bag. But it arrived the next day, after he had checked into the Empress on the fourth floor. His room had no refrigerator, and he worried about keeping the meat cool.

But the room had a nicely appointed window, and there was a chill in the April air. A plan formed: Why not spread the meat on a table next to an open window and on the window sill to keep it cool? So he did.

Then he went for a walk.

The sight that greeted him when he returned to his room hours later can only be described as "an explosion," he wrote. About 40 sea gulls had sneaked in through a small opening in the window and were having a feast, he told the CBC radio show "As It Happens."

"They'd been eating Brothers TNT pepperoni -- I'm specific with the TNT because it's hot," he recalled. "They'd been eating that for about five hours, and you can imagine what the room looked like. They were carrying on their life processes in there."

Excrement, feathers and pepperoni chunks were everywhere.

"Brothers' TNT Pepperoni does NASTY things to a sea gull's digestive system," he wrote. "The smell," he recalled in the radio interview, "was overwhelming."

"The shocking thing for me was the saliva," he marveled. "I didn't know that sea gulls drooled. The slime was covering everything. They were whipping it up into the air. It was like a tornado."

Posted by at April 14, 2018 6:40 PM


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