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My Name is Andy, and I'm...SOBER!

 article about why i don\
As strange as this may sound, I've never done drugs. I've had plenty of
friends that could hook me up if I so desired, but I've had no need to
smoke, shoot, or snort anything out of the ordinary. I didn't even
start drinking alcohol until I was twenty-three years old. I had a few
sneak-a-drinks as a kid but I never had more than one drink nor did I
ever get drunk. On my twenty-first birthday, I did have a couple of
drinks at the insistence of friends. But I'm not talking about alcohol
here. I'm talking about DRUGS. Good old-fashioned, piss off Nancy
Reagan, start an intervention, waste all your money toking up on DRUGS!


Most of my friends are shocked to find out I haven't even puffed
on one marijuana joint. I suppose it seems illogical to have a
fire-eating friend who has worked for circuses and carnivals, showered
with a horse and has never boofed a fatty even once.

It is a
hard thing to admit publicly, being a non-user of drugs. I cant use
terms like clean & sober or drug-free. Those terms are reserved for
people who used to abuse drugs and are now free from the bonds of
addiction. I fail to get high even once and that doesn't warrant a good
for you or a round of applause from people also dealing with painful,
constant sobriety.

Drugs are so hip and cool, it is socially
unacceptable for me to not be in the club. Ask around, most everyone
you know doesn't use drugs, but does smoke a little pot once in awhile.
Those who don't use ANYTHING are likely to be the friends you don't hang
out with often. Perpetually sober people are boring and conservative
losers. Perhaps this is why so many are actually shocked to find out
that Im clean. After all, I am SO COOL!

Whats worse is how
people act around me when they find out about my sobriety affliction.
Many are afraid to light up or talk drug-speak around me, fearing that
Im some undercover narcotics officer. Others become considerably more
polite around me if they do indulge. They ask if I mind if they smoke
and are quick to offer me a toke. Ive even been told that they'd walk me
through my first time, as if the reason I haven't had any drugs is
because I'm terrified of freaking out. Some volunteer to vent my
apartment or spray the Glade to cover up the offending odor. I try and
get them to smoke in the bathroom or kitchen hoping that when they
leave Ill have a clean toilet and shiny dishes.

I don't care
if people use drugs. I have no political or social agenda, no opinion
about them whatsoever. I prefer that my friends don't use the harder
stuff around me and I really don't want my precious cigar humidor to be
their stashes hiding place. I don't care what adults do in the comforts
of their own time. Just don't kill me or get me arrested and DON'T ask me
for bail money.

I always have to give an over-explanation for
my life without unmentionables as if I'm doing something wrong. Theres
my problem with drugs, the stigma attached to NOT using them.

I
am already paranoid enough, funny enough, hungry enough, and crazy
enough without them. Bizarre things happen to me on such a regular
basis that I don't need drugs to make my life any more interesting. To
put it bluntly (HA!), most people think Im already on drugs.

A
big reason I abstain is that I have to stay sharp on stage and on my
way to the gigs. I have too many talented friends who have shown up
late, performed smashed, hurt themselves or lost work because of their
habits creeping into their work. Ironically, a lot of these folks are
considerably farther along on the rich and famous scale than I am. That
may be the only reason TO start up. I don't like working with these guys
when they're high and therefore, don't want to be one of those guys. More
importantly, I eat fire! Should a guy sticking flammable objects in his
mouth be strung out?

The closest I ever came to actually
trying pot was in Jamaica. Pot is everywhere in that glorious land and
everyone has some to share or sell. My wife hadn't enjoyed any in years
and thought that while in the land of the leaf she should try the good
stuff. Somehow I had to be the one to make the purchase. Me. Let me
tell you, making a drug deal when you've got absolutely NO IDEA WHAT THE
HELL YOU'RE DOING is itself, a strange trip. I didn't know what the going
rate was at home so why the hell should I try haggling with the hotel
pool guy? What made it funnier was that my wife only wanted one joint,
an amount so inconsequential to a Jamaican that he couldn't help but
laughing at my request. One joint, Mon? Thats not enough to watch one
sunset, he said with a smile. I made my request and he graciously
agreed to come up to our room with the goods.

I went back to
the room all excited that Id made a drug deal. I wondered if Fisher
Price made a My First Joint kit. We waited for our supplier to arrive.
After a knock on our door, my connection was there with a quantity of
pot sizable enough to cure glaucoma for hundreds of people! He entered
the room, happily cut the product and even rolled the joint. Now thats
SERVICE! The joint was as large as my middle finger and from all
accounts, would have easily made three or four normal-sized joints back
home in the stingy States. Even better, there was plenty of pot left
over to make at least 3 more joints of that size. He charged us the
equivalent of about 15 US dollars (a bargain, I'm told) and told us to
keep the rest. We tipped him for the effort (you tip everybody in
Jamaica) and laughed wondering if wed tipped the appropriate amount for
a drug deal.

That monster-joint didn't get smoked until the
next day. I waited for a review and did not partake. For the next few
days I played with the remaining marijuana like a kid with a new toy. I
rolled the stuff into two sizable joints just to see if I could make a
good joint, having gleaned a little rolling technique from watching a
friend of mine once. I don't know if the joints I rolled were any good.
They stayed in the drawer of my night stand, likely enjoyed by the next
guest of that room. I'm sure it was amusing to watch me smelling the
pot, feeling the texture, rolling and re-rolling joints for a few days,
only to pull out a Cuban cigar (as illegal a substance as I was willing
to smoke) a few moments later.

Why didn't I smoke the joints?
I have no idea. I do wonder what I was missing then and what Ive been
missing all these years. There must be something to all this drug
hullabaloo. I say its high-time I find out.

Ive decided to form
my own twelve-step program. Ill call it AL-A-NOT. Ill help people make
the transition into the fuzzy-headed world of narcotics. A signed
poster of Robert Downey Jr. will be on the wall. A circle of coherent,
non-twitching people discussing Meg Ryan movies will fill the room.

The
first step will be admitting that we don't have a problem. Someone will
stand up and say his name. Well say HI in unison and when the subject
admits his sobriety well start booing and throwing things at him,
shunning the BRAIN CELL LOVER.

Well play a vintage copy of the
Grateful Deads Working Class Dead and try to enjoy it without wondering
when the songs will end. Eventually well be strung out and broke,
watching bad movies based upon bad Hunter S. Thompson books. Well
wonder why P.J. O'Rourke is suddenly a conservative, and laugh at Pauly
Shore and Bobcat Goldthwait. The Wizard of Oz, Willy Wonka and H.R.
Puffinstuff will take on new meanings and well be issued DVD copies of
Trainspotting and Dazed & Confused. Well read Carl Hiasson, Gregory
Macguire, and Lemony Snicket books KNOWING what the authors were on
when they wrote them.

My God, it will be beautiful!

Look
at all the pretty colors. Whoa! Dude, The Banana Splits are like, HUGE
mutant animals and they all are late for the bus. Don'tcha get it, man?
Were the animals and the bus is like...LIFE and we want it to slow down
so we can get on and Life wont pass us by. LOOK OUT! Its Injun Joe!
Hide the stash!

Dude, if you, like want MORE info about Andy "The Spliffmaster" Martello go to his radical website, www.andymartello.com. There's, like, a TOTALLY cool plate spinning game in there and lots of info about "other things to smoke" in Andy Land. Whoa! I'm trippin''.



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