A trip to the emergency room a few nights ago has led me to the realization that I owe my innards a little spring-cleaning. Diagnosis: Gastritis, most likely from excessive alcohol consumption in conjunction with severe side effects from anti-inflammatory medication. Solution: Prescription antacid medication in correlation with painkillers. More importantly: No alcohol, no spicy foods, no acidic drinks and … NO SMOKING!

Sounds like a lot more readers will be able to understand my column for these next few weeks until I get back on my bong.

But, in the meantime, I’m still a stoner, and that means I’m resourceful enough to make something out of nothing. And not smoking for the past couple of days has given me a fresh perspective on a few facets of life I’ve been happily oblivious to while sitting cross-legged in the haze.

People can be assholes when they suddenly stop smoking weed. I’m not talking about a crackhead-with-withdrawals kind of asshole, but more like your standard, “Middle-schooler where the fuck’s my afternoon snack?” kind of asshole. Some sulk in their misery until they find something else with which to amuse themselves. Like watching porn. Or smelling gym socks. Others just tell you how miserable they are until they sneak their way back into the rotation a few seconds later.

It’s the stoners committed to the cause, though – or rather, those whose life doesn’t need to revolve around weed for them to feel like themselves – that gives craving stoners all the inspiration we need to ignore Mary Jane’s persistent texts for a dank hookup.

Yesterday I started yelling at puppies for being too cute. Then I cussed my roommate out – in my sleep no less – for snoring. Outside International Market, I gave homeless men handfuls of Canadian currency. Later, I superglued a Bic to my balcony’s banister when no one was looking. When a spliff came my way, I held onto it until the flame ran out, then passed it to the left. Y’all should’ve seen my buddies try to pry the lighter off the banister.

I even took down a bird nest from the light fixture above my balcony because there was bird shit everywhere. And six fresh eggs equal breakfast. This last act may not seem like much, but talk to any stoner and they’d pack a bowl for the chance to see three little birds live on their doorstep. They’d probably sack me if they knew where I lived.

Speaking of which, I don’t have a television at home, but the whole San Diego State fraternity drug bust thing kept me occupied for about an hour two days ago. I just stared and drooled at all the green bags piled up in front of the camera, with proud narcotics police officers standing behind it all like they actually made a positive difference in the world. All I know is that some pig is getting a big shiny medal while most Aztecs will continue to smoke in honor of their brethren who got cuffed. If pigs could read – or fly – then they’d know Hunter’s wisdom is right again on this one: “The tendency is to push it as far as you can.”

With two smoke-free days under my belt, I felt like I, too, had done all that I could to follow the doctor’s orders. Until I realized I was going about this all wrong. It was my fault. I take full responsibility for my stupidity. But, damn, it took me way too long to figure out that I could just make edibles and get high without smoking. The omen manifested itself as chef Jondo, who had just got done creating a scrumdidilyumptious ganja pesto sauce. Mixed in with some penne or some pesto raviolis, it sounds like this whole “no smoking” thing won’t be that depressing after all.