The following article appears as part of the Nexus’ April Fools’ Day edition.
Adding to an ever-lengthening list of spills and alleged infractions, Greka Oil & Gas company president Andre Derramar spilled 15 ounces of grape juice onto his shirt yesterday – an act he claimed was the result of sabotage.
The spill, which happened at approximately 10:32 a.m. at his field office on Palmer Road, near Los Olivos, is the third such spill since December of 2007. Nearby employees scrambled to clean the sodden shirt, but unfortunately the stain had already set. Just hours after the incident occurred, Derramar held a press conference, during which he announced his steadfast belief that the accident was a result of sabotage and that he had requested the assistance of the FBI in finding the culprit.
Santa Barbara County Fire Dept. Captain Elton Mantle said Derramar’s failure to hold onto his glass was unacceptable.
“It is an outrage and shame that Greka’s president can’t seem to get a firm grip [on his glass,]” Mantle said. “That shirt was 100 percent cotton, and now it’s lost. This cannot stand.”
In response to his third spilled glass in as many months, the Fire Dept., in cooperation with the County Board of Supervisors and the Environmental Protection Agency, has temporarily banned Derramar from drinking grape juice. Derramar has responded by claiming discrimination and unfair treatment.
“This ban on grape juice is completely unfair and unwarranted,” Derramar said. “In comparison to other key figures around the county, my record of spilling juice is average and does not warrant this type of treatment. The County is clearly acting out against me due to some ulterior motives.”
Derramar later said that if the ban continues, he plans to sue the county – a threat Mantle referred to as “a grossly selfish diversionary tactic.”
“Derramar is clearly trying to divert attention away from his own clumsiness and place blame on some imaginary plot of sabotage as well as the county – as if we spilled the juice on his shirt!” Mantle said.
The County Board of Supervisors had planned an emergency hearing just days prior to this latest spill, but board chair Brooks Firestone, who until recently owned Firestone Vineyard, postponed the meeting, claiming the staff needed more time before holding a hearing.
Andrew Knauer, owner and founder of Isla Vista Dry Cleaners of America, said he questions the Supervisor’s motives, however.
“When the owner of a major vineyard starts subtly acting on the behalf of a man accused of spilling grape juice, one has to question his motives,” Knauer said. “I’m not saying that he’s crooked or anything, just that the situation is a little fishy.”
In response, Firestone claimed that the accusation was not only false but that it stemmed from “nothing more than a case of sour grapes.”