MauiHawaiiTheWorld

Shedding Light in the Darkness

When a Mob of Seagulls Destroyed a Hotel Room

Seagull_2Just read one of the funniest stories ever in The New York Times about seagulls destroying a hotel room in British Columbia when Nick Burchill left a suitcase filled with pepperoni in his room next to an open window and about 40 sea gulls invaded the room, drawn by the smell of the meat.

Visiting Victoria B.C., the pepperoni was a gift for friends. When he landed, the airline could not find the bag. But it arrived the next day, after he had checked into the Empress hotel 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.

“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.”

“Brothers’ TNT Pepperoni does nasty things to a sea gull’s digestive system,” he wrote. “The smell  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.”

His sudden appearance startled the birds, which tried to leave but kept crashing into the lamps and the curtains.

Most people would’ve probably called housekeeping then. But Mr. Burchill waded in and tried to take back his room. He said he opened all the windows to let the birds out. When one tried to return, he hurled a shoe — light brown. Shoe and bird sailed out of the window.

One bird did not seem to want to leave, so he flung a bath towel over it and threw it out, as well. “I had forgotten that sea gulls cannot fly when they are wrapped in a towel,” he admitted.

This all occurred during high tea at the hotel. Tourists were lined up beneath his window. Both the wrapped-up sea gull and the shoe landed on them.

His troubles weren’t over. To get to a work dinner, Mr. Burchill retrieved his shoe, cleaned it off and jammed a hair dryer into it. But the phone rang, and while he was out of the room, he said, the hair dryer “vibrated free” from the shoe and fell into a sink full of water, knocking out the power.

Finally, sitting amid the mess, he summoned housekeeping.

“I can still remember the look on the lady’s face when she opened the door,” he wrote. “I had absolutely no idea what to tell her, so I just said, ‘I’m sorry,’ and I went to dinner.”

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