There’s nothing funny about the hiccups unless they happen to someone else. But when they happen to you, forget about having fun. I envy people who never get the hiccups because I’m a hiccuper from way back. Let me just say now that I have the cure and will share my remedy shortly.
I remember seeing David Letterman interviewing an old guy who had been hiccupping for about forty years. The guy had tried everything from science to voodoo and he was still chugging away. His brother had even snuck up behind him and discharged a shotgun right behind Tex’s head. This might have cost ol’ Tex a couple of heartbeats and caused some high end hearing issues but the hiccups kept coming. I found myself yelling at the set trying to tell him of my remedy.
As a semi-professional radio announcer I can tell you from personal experience that there’s nothing that can interrupt the flow of a show like a twitching diaphragm. I’ve had to hiccup my way through way too many radio programs over the years. It’s embarrassing!
Now that I know the remedy I try not to get too far away from the two essential ingredients. I’m one of those people who can hiccup for hours, even days at a time. Sometimes the hiccups will lurk like a bully in the alley waiting to pounce with a vengeance with the slightest sneeze or sip of beer. So I like to have the remedy handy.
Way back in 2008, Jennifer Mee of St. Petersburg, Fla., said she was in science class on January 23 when she started to hiccup uncontrollably. She was hiccupping at 50 times per minute (TPM) with no relief in sight. That’s a Gatling gun of stops and starts that would drive anyone batty. I hope she figured it out or is reading this column now.
I wish I could have talked to her but the 15-year-old had already had blood tests, a CT scan and an MRI. They tried drugs and folk remedies but, you guessed it, she still sputtered away at 50 TPM. I imagine she’s been through the ringer of physicians, psychologists, and other icians and ologists.
It might be too late for my remedy to work for Jennifer. But if you suffer hiccups, or know someone who does, you are going to want to jot down the remedy because I’ve NEVER seen it fail.
My daughter sometimes gets the hiccups but she’s as stubborn as a mule and no longer will take my remedy even though it has never failed her. Instead, when hiccups strike, she contorts herself like an ostrich in the kitchen trying to drink a glass of water while her head is upside down. This, of course, never works.
I figure that if she gets hit with the hiccups at 50 TPM she’ll be running for my remedy faster than you can’t say, “Da-ah-ddd, ge-eh-eh-HIC!-me-ee-ee theHIC! Rehhhh-eh-mmmmHIC!-ehhhhHIC! Deee.”
Then, of course I’d have to answer, “Huh? What did you say?” which would only make the hiccups worse.
Like I said, the remedy has only two ingredients, which is only partly true. One of the ingredients is a distillate of goodies including, but not necessarily limited to, angelica root (A. archangelica), artichoke leaf (Cynara scolymus), bitter orange peel (Citrus aurantium), blessed thistle leaves (Cnicus bendicutus), gentian root (Gentiana lutea), goldenseal rhizome (Hydrastis canadensis), wormwood leaves (Artemisia absinthium) and yarrow flowers (Achillea millefolium).
This distillate is commonly known as “bitters” and often finds its way into stiff gin drinks supped by obese businessmen in shiny suits. A physician in Venezuela who used it for, of all things, stomach ailments, first whipped it up. But the cocktail crowd soon hijacked it. This is a good thing. Because of those fatcats in business suits, bitters are commonly found in drinking establishments, often in many artisanal formulas.
The other ingredient in my hiccup remedy is a simple wedge of lemon. Take a wedge of lemon and drip a few drops of bitters on it and take a big bite. Once you have recovered from the maxillary gland overload, you will, beyond all doubt, discover that your hiccups have indeed faded into memory. If they come back, hit it again. The wedge of lemon is pretty reliable on its own but if you add bitters you are guaranteed results.
The latest suggestions found on medicalnewstoday back me up on the wedge of lemon but after reading the rest of the article I realize that my daughter with her glass of water and contorted yoga pose may be onto something.
“Drink from the far side of the glass – stand up, bend over, and place the mouth on the opposite side of the glass. While bending, tilt the glass away from the body and drink.”
To those of you who suffer from the hiccups and plan to try the remedy, you are welcome in advance. For those of you sucking honey through a straw or trying to defy gravity with your upside down ballerina moves, good luck. I hope you don’t mind if I laugh at your totally unnecessary herking and jerking.
Steve Skinner notes that there’s a restaurant franchise called Hiccups Restaurant and Teahouse. Reach him at email@example.com.