Experts tell us that hiccups are a myoclonus of the diaphragm, that results in an abrupt rush of air into the lungs. You get them when the vagus nerve, which runs from the brain to the abdomen, is irritated. They are most commonly the result of digestive disturbances.
Well that’s just crazy talk–everyone knows hiccups are caused by gremlins.
There are a lot people out there who will tell you that gremlins don’t exist. People who think they’re smarter than you because they have years of medical training, or they’ve read books, or they’ve never been described as “bat crap crazy” by a certified mental health professional. Maybe they’ve never slapped a mime in the face, or they’ve never been arrested for urinating on a police car, but does that make them smarter than you?
Probably, but don’t listen to them–you can’t trust a person who’s never slapped a mime in the face.
Do you think it’s a coincidence that you only seem to get hiccups at the most inconvenient times:
- You’ve just gone to bed because you have a big presentation at work the next day.
- You’re at that big presentation; your company’s pitching a foolproof remedy for hiccups. It doesn’t go well.
- You approach that cute girl to ask her out. She has a terrible phobia of people with hiccups. She blasts you in the face with pepper spray.
- You’re trying to catch your breath after being blasted in the face with pepper spray.
- You’re giving a eulogy for a close friend. The fact that your friend died from a mysterious case of hyper-hiccups, heightens the inappropriate nature of your sudden attack of hiccups.
- Just after the judge asks if you have anything to say for yourself. Evidently urinating on police cars is frowned upon in some places. (You can however slap a mime in the face almost anywhere.)
- That brief moment of silence after that pastor announces, “if there is anyone here who objects to this union, let them speak now or forever hold their peace.” The former bride of your deceased friend is finally moving on with her life and remarrying. She is not amused. More pepper spray is in your future.
But now you have hiccups, how do you get rid of them?
Note: If you don’t want to be punched in the face, don’t try to cure a person of hiccups by scaring them.
Don’t get me wrong, watching one of your friend’s attempt to scare the hiccups out of another one of your friends, and get punched in the face, is completely entertaining.
Also, being the only person in the room who doesn’t have the hiccups or a black-eye, is weirdly satisfying.
So you won’t waste your time with a bunch of supposed hiccup cures, or get punched in the face by a startled person with hiccups; here is a list of hiccup cures not to try:
Scaring someone: this will only get you punched in the face.
Tickling: this will also get you punched in the face.
Punching someone in the face: While there are several perfectly sound reasons for punching someone in the face, curing hiccups is not one of them.
A spoonful of sugar: this may work for Mary Poppins–or any Disney character who breaks into song at irritatingly inappropriate moments–but it doesn’t cure hiccups.
- A spoonful of peanut butter: this will actually give you hiccups if you don’t have them. If you already have hiccups, and you eat a spoonful of peanut butter, your esophagus will explode.
Note: I spelled esophagus correctly on the first try. I just thought you should know.
- Drinking a glass of water while standing on your head: this is something made up by your friends, so they can take your picture and post it on the internet.
Inhaling paprika: your friends are cruel liars.
Holding your breath: this will make you turn blue and pass out. You will wake up with a bump on your head, still with the hiccups, and a blurry view of your friends posting another picture on the internet.
- Putting your friend’s hand in warm water while he’s sleeping. (Sorry, this comes from an entirely different list. Your friends will definitely post the results of this one on the internet. A punch in the face may also be forthcoming.)
- Fifty small drinks of water without taking a breath: at sip 42–yes, at exactly sip 42–you will involuntarily take a breath and inhale the water, coughing and shooting the water through your nose.
- Fifty small drinks of vodka without taking a breath: the same as above, but with the added aspect of vomiting.
- Putting your fingers in your ears: you still have the hiccups, but at least you can’t hear your friends laughing.
- Holding your tongue with your fingers: seriously.
This is the point: hiccups cannot be cured, they are caused by gremlins. You simply have to wait for the gremlins to tire, and the hiccups will just go away by themselves. Believe it, it’s science.