Jessica Gross

The Hiccups

In musings on December 18, 2008 at 6:38 pm

Last weekend, I’d had a few glasses of wine at a holiday party and started hiccuping. It was cliché. I tried to subdue them, but one of the women in my conversation circle had had a few herself and announced, “You have the hiccups!”

“Yes, I know,” I said, closing my eyes and nodding.

“Don’t be ashamed! Let ’em join the conversation!” She was excited.

A few minutes later, she tried to scare them out of me: “BoooOOOO!” Soon others joined in the scaring fun. The hiccups stayed.

Everyone started offering suggestions: hold your breath. Drink from the wrong side of the cup. Drink water upside down. (I’ve tried this, and it’s dangerous. The water goes up your nose.) My own method of choice is to clench a pencil in my teeth and keep holding it there while drinking water — not practical at a holiday party.

This all reminded me of a New Yorker piece this May that described hangover cures across the world. What’s the lore on hiccup remedies?

My research indicates there are more alleged cures for the hiccups — which, by the way, are caused by diaphragm spasms — than there are aspiring actors in New York. A few of the best:

Have your own favorite cure? Think they’re all placebos? Post in comments.

  1. I hold my breath while drinking something. Works everytime lol.

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