As with tragedy so with farce, there’s supposed to be in both one single event which then leads to the downfall. Everything must flow logically, ineluctably in fact, from that one choice made, that one decision. The difference is that, well, in the one the final event is tragic – Othello strangling Desdemona – in the other it’s farcical – vide any 5 minute scene of Clouseau in a Pink Panther movie.
At which point we need to recognise that these things, these farces, are not just the product of fevered (or, given the nature of those who write for a living, drunken or drugged) imaginations, they’re a reflection of real life. Documentary rather than invention:
In a Facebook post, the Nova Scotia man described bringing some pepperoni to naval buddies on the west coast.
The problems began when he decided to cool the meat on the hotel windowsill.
The “Brother’s Pepperoni” – a Halifax delicacy – had been kept at room temperature for a short time, Mr Burchill wrote in a widely shared social media post.
He thought it would be best to make sure it was refrigerated.
But the fourth-floor room had no fridge.
Still, it was April, the air was chilly, and his front-facing room had a window.
“I lifted one of the sashes and spread the packages of pepperoni out on the table and windowsill. Then, I went for a walk…for about 4 or 5 hours,” said Mr Burchill.
On his return, he found about 40 seagulls – “an entire flock” – in his room. They had been eating the pepperoni, which “does NASTY things to a seagull’s digestive system”.
The startled birds “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,” Mr Burchill said.
He waded through the birds and opened all the remaining windows. In his “agitated” state, he threw a shoe at one confused bird who tried to fly back into the room. Both shoe and seagull went out the window.
Finally, only one large seagull, with pepperoni still clasped in its beak, remained.
“In a moment of clarity, I grabbed a bath-towel and jumped it,” he said. Both also went out the window.
The shoe and the towel-wrapped – but unharmed – seagull landed on visitors arriving for afternoon high tea at the hotel.
At that moment Mr Burchill realised he had just a few minutes before he had to attend an important business meeting – and only one shoe.
He recovered his mud-covered shoe from outdoors and washed it, but a hair dryer mishap as he tried to dry it knocked out some of the power in the hotel.
All we need now is for the power cut to lead to the fire alarms not working, something then setting fire to the entire hotel itself, and we’ve the closing scene of the next Pink Panther movie. Perhaps not of the next Sacha Baron Cohen though as it’s far too amusing.