A luxushotel szerencsétlen esete a pepperoni szalámival és a sirályokkal


2018. március 28-án, 17 évvel azután, hogy kitiltották a nyugat-kanadai
Brit Columbiában található ötcsillagos Fairmont Empress Hotelből, Nick Burchill bocsánatkérő levelet írt a hotelnek, részletesen leírva az egykori szerencsétlen incidenst. A levél annyira abszurdnak tűnt, hogy a hotel új vezetősége először áprilisi tréfának vélte azt, azonban a régóta ott dolgozó alkalmazottak még emlékeztek a nem mindennapi esetre. Április 1-én a luxushotel feloldotta Burchill kitiltását, a levél pedig felkerült az internetre és futótűzként körbejárta a világot.

A következőkben Benedict Cumberbatch rendkívül szórakoztató tolmácsolásában hallgathatjuk meg a levél szövegét illetve el is olvashatjuk azt. 

A megértés megkönnyítésére egy részletes angol-magyar szószedetet készítettem a szöveghez.       

Nehézségi szint: haladó (C1) 
Olvasási idő: 8 perc

Benedict Cumberbatch
Royal Albert Hall (London), October 2022 

28th March 2018

Dear Empress Hotel,

This may seem like an unusual request but I write to you today seeking an apology, a "pardon" on my part. Eighteen years ago, a string of unfortunate events led to my being banned from your hotel. I would like to explain the incident.

In 2001, I'd recently joined my current employer and I was also in the Canadian Naval Reserve. This new employer was hosting a customer conference at the Empress and it was my first event with the company.

I told my naval buddies that I was coming out west and I was asked to bring "Brothers Pepperoni" from Halifax. It's a local delicacy. Now, because this was the navy we were talking about, I brought enough for a ship, and in a hurry, I completely filled an entire suitcase with pepperoni for my friends. Some of it was wrapped in plastic, some in brown paper. I took whatever Brothers would sell me.

This is the bag that the airline misplaced. Now, the bag reappeared the next day. I knew the pepperoni would still be "good". It had only been at room temp. for a short time. It would, however, be quite some time before I could turn it over to my friends. So, just to be safe, I decided that I should keep it cool.

Now, my room was a nice, big, front-facing room on the fourth floor. It was well  appointed but it did not have a refrigerator. It was April, the air was chilly. An easy way to keep all of this food cold would be just to keep it next to an open window. So, I lifted one of the sashes and spread the packages of pepperoni out on the table and window sill, and then I went for a walk … for about four or five hours.

When I covered enough ground, I returned to the hotel. I remember walking down the long hall and opening the door to my room to find an entire flock of seagulls in my room. I didn't have time to count, but there must have been at least 40, and they'd been in my room eating pepperoni for a long time.

In case you're wondering, Brothers TNT pepperoni does nasty things to a seagull's digestive system. As you'd 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've 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 were attempting to leave through the other closed windows and 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. The coffee table was just disgusting.

I waded through the birds and opened the remaining windows. Most of the gulls left immediately. One tried to re-enter the room to grab another piece of pepperoni and in my agitated state, I took off one of my shoes and threw it at him. Both the gull and the shoe went out the window.

By this time, I was down to one gull left in the room, but it was a big one, and it didn't want to leave. As I chased it, it ran around the room with a big hunk of pepperoni in its gob. In a moment of clarity, I grabbed the bath towel and jumped it. It started to freak out, so I wrapped it in the towel and threw it out of the window.

I had forgotten that seagulls cannot fly when wrapped in a bath towel.

Now, this is all happening fairly quickly and this is mid-afternoon. The Empress Hotel hosts a very famous and very popular "high tea". I suspect this is where the large group of tourists was heading when they were struck first by my shoe, then a bound-up seagull (the seagull was unharmed, by the way).

Let's go back to my little housekeeping issue. The room was bad. There was a lot of damage.

I was new to my company and I was really trying to make a good impression at this important event. So I decided that I would carry on for now and handle this whole thing later. I then realised that I had only a few minutes before an important dinner and I only had one shoe.

I made my way to one of the side doors and recovered both shoe and towel that were lying in some wet soil near the walking path. The shoe was a mess. I took it back to the room. By this time, I had closed the windows and the air was becoming quite ripe with the smell of digested pepperoni and fish.

I went into the washroom and rinsed the mud off my shoe. It cleaned up nicely, but now I had one wet, dark shoe and one dry, light colour shoe.

In retrospect, I should have just wet the dry shoe. Instead, I chose 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. 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; a ban that I have respected for almost eighteen years.

I have matured and I admit responsibility for my actions. I come to you, hat-in-hand to apologise for the damage I had indirectly come to cause and to ask you to reconsider my lifetime ban from the property.

I hope that you will see fit to either grant me a pardon, or consider my eighteen years away from the Empress as "time served".

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Nick Burchill


to seek an apology - elnézést kér
on my part - részemről
a string of events - események láncolata/sorozata
to ban sy from sw - kitilt vkit vhonnan
naval reserve - haditengerészeti tartalék
pepperoni - pepperoni szalámi
buddy - haver
delicacy - csemege, finomság, ínyencség  
to wrap sg in sg - becsomagol/beteker vmit vmibe
to misplace sg - rossz helyre tesz, elveszít
to reappear - előkerül
to turn sg over to sy - átad vmit vkinek
well appointed - jól felszerelt
chilly - csípős hideg
sash - tolóablak
to spread sg out - kiterít, szétterít vmit
window sill  - ablakpárkány
to cover enough ground - elegendő utat megtesz
a flock of seagulls - sirályraj
nasty - csúnya
digestive system - emésztőrendszer
to be covered in sg - beborítja vmi
crap - szar
to drool - nyáladzik
to startle sy - megijeszt/meglep vkit
composed - higgadt, nyugodt
excrement - ürülék
chunk - nagydarab 
to whip around - verdes, csapkod
to trash sg - szétzúz
to wade through sg - átgázol vmin
agitated - zaklatott
hunk - nagydarab
gob - pofa
in a moment of clarity - egy tiszta pillanatban
to freak out - beparázik, bepánikol
high tea - ötórai tea, teadélután
unharmed - sértetlen
to make a good impression - jó benyomást kelt
mess- romhalmaz
ripe - érett
to rinse sg off sg - vmit leöblít vmiről
to jam sg in sg - vmit beprésel vhová
the power goes off - elmegy az elektromos áram
to knock out the power - leveri az elektromos biztosítékot  
to mature - megkomolyodik, éretté válik
I admit responsibility for my actions. - Vállalom a felelősséget a tetteimért.
hat-in-hand - lehajtott fővel
time served - büntetés kitöltve