06 July 2005

hiccUP

When I get the hiccups, I get noisy.

Awkward and loud bleats not unlike a Tourettes outburst interrupt my usual reserved demeanor. I don't have a lot of control over it. When I try to close my mouth, my diaphragm and glottis conspire against me, forcing air through my lips and releasing the embarassing bleat. (Actually, it's not always embarrassing; sometimes it's a good party trick, albeit a spontaneous one. I think Robbie has audio of one of my outbursts.)

I often get hiccups at work, drawing people out of their offices to ask "what is that?" I've been advised of many remedies, but today was the most intriguing tactic. A co-worker brought me a mug of water with a paper towel over it; she instructed me to sip the water through the towel, all the way around the cup. This particular remedy was recommended to her by Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissman Klein, who happened to be her good friend's mother.

I've also chugged water while someone put their hands over my ears, drank water from the opposite side of a cup and had the bejeebus scared out of me. Once in college when hiccups attacked, my co-worker turned to me, asking me calmly, "Tell me about the white horse you had when you were young." I never had a white horse, I puzzledly replied. "Well, did you ever want one?" I thought about it. "Well, probably... What does this have to do with anything?" "Your hiccups are gone, aren't they?" And, yes, they were.

By far, my favorite remedy is a spoonful of sugar. As a child, I extrapolated the logic, taking five spoonfuls so the hiccups would really disappear.

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