This story has been making the Internet rounds since 2007, and finally landed in my InBox this morning. "Can't be true," I thought, immediately checking it on Snopes. And it turns out...it's true! Well, basically true. The version I received set the story in Michigan, with the owner adorably quipping, "This is a liquor store, and if that seagull starts to grab a 6-pack of my 'Bud Light' to go along with the Doritos, I may have to shoot the cute little bastard."
The real seagull resides in Aberdeen, Scotland, with nobody threatning to shoot it, and with the locals actually donating money to pay for the bird's ill-gotten crisps. I guess some American jackass didn't think the story was funny unless it involved an animal getting shot. Gee, I feel so proud to be an American right now:
"In July 2007, a segull in Aberdeen Scotland made the news for a rather unusual manifestation of sneaky scavenging behavior. The bird, named "Sam" by the locals, developed the habit of strolling through an open door into the RS McColl newsagents shop there, snatching bags of cheese-flavored Doritos from a rack just inside the entryway, and dashing away. According to store personnel, Sam always birdlifted the same flavor of Doritos (perhaps due to the color of the packaging), carrying the bags outside the store, where he ripped them open and (along with other birds) devoured their contents.
"Shop worker Sriaram Nagarajan, 22, said: "Everyone is amazed by the seagull. For some reason he only takes that one particular kind of crisps, nothing else will do for him. But he's got it down to a fine art. He waits until there are no customers around and I'm standing behind the till, then he raids the place. He's becoming a bit of a celebrity. Seagulls are usually not that popular but Sam is a star because he's so funny.""