Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An Old (Hiccup) Family (Hiccup) Remedy

One of my bloggy/Facebooky friends, Yellowdog Granny, posted on her Facebook status yesterday that she had the hiccups.

Right away, I thought, “Drink a glass of water with a pencil.”

What, you’ve never heard of that hiccup remedy?

Well, it’s just the most effective one there is!

What you do is take a pencil (or pen) and hold it lengthwise across the top of a glass of water…then drink the glass of water while making sure the pencil is under your nose the whole time.

It sounds weird, but it really does work. I think the pencil distracts you from breathing through your nose, so you drink the whole glass of water without stopping.

And in case you’re wondering (I’m sure you are; I know that this is the most fascinating topic ever), your finger will work in a pinch, if you don’t have a pen or pencil.

Anyway, so after I shared this old family remedy with Yellowdog Granny, I started to think:

Where the heck did that come from? Who was the first person to come up with this idea?

I can picture it now. (Cue flashback music.)

It’s the early 1920’s, and a bunch of guys are sitting around passing a reefer.

All of the sudden, one of them gets the hiccups really bad. He holds his breath for a few seconds, but then he starts to get paranoid that he might accidentally stop breathing for good. He lets the air out and hiccups again.

Then he tries to drink some water, but that doesn’t work. His friends try to scare the hiccups out of him, but that doesn’t work, either.

He starts to get really worried that he will have the hiccups forever.

Suddenly, he says, “I know! I’ll stick a pencil under my nose and drink some water!”

“Friend, that sounds like a bully idea!” says one of the other guys.

“Yes, a smashing idea!” says another.

And miraculously, it does work.

They are all surprised, and from then on, whenever anyone has the hiccups, they tell them about their “miracle hiccups cure.”

And somehow, eventually, somewhere down the line, one of my relatives finds out about it…and thus it becomes an old family remedy.

What? It could happen.

But of course, it didn’t. My curiosity about the hiccups remedy got the best of me, and I called my Mom to find out if she knew anything about where it came from.

“Oh, that’s from a long time ago,” she said. “I think I read it in “Woman’s Day” or one of those women’s magazines.”

She read it in a magazine? That’s it?

Hmm, sometimes stories are much more interesting in the imagination. Still, who was the first person to come up with that idea?

We may never know.

8 comments:

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

Oh that cracks me up...and I'm glad I gave you an idea for a post. I took the garbage out and held my breath and by the time I got back..they were gone..ha

Barb said...

We use a shot of lemon juice to get rid of hiccups. Usually works immediately. Guess the sourness shocks your system.
What I want to know is who was the first person that thought it was a good idea to eat a slimy oyster?

Random Thinker said...

We use a slightly different method in our family but it does involve a pencil and glass of water. We actually hold the pencil in our mouths as we drink water from a glass. Works very well.

I find it interesting that your imaginary inventors of the technique were "passing a reefer" almost as if you are implying it frees up one's mind for creative thinking. I think it does, but it all falles apart when nobody actually has enough initiative to act on any of the grand plans.

sageweb said...

I was reading about strange medical studies the other day and one was for hiccups..they discovered that massaging the anus cured them..for real..google it....I am still waiting to try it.

jp said...

Dill pickles.

Maria said...

I am so glad to know this. I always have to ask someone to scare me and then of course, I am just sitting there waiting to be scared and that hardly works at all.

Sling said...

Bite into a lime wedge with a couple drops of Bitters on it.
It doesn't always help the hiccups,but the look on the person's face is priceless!

kootnygirl said...

The only thing that works for me (and I get hiccups a lot), is to try to hiccup on purpose. The "real" remedy is to count to 10, then count backwards from 10, NOW HICCUP. DO IT. DO IT. DO IT. (You have to imagine someone else telling you to do all of this). I can't be bothered with the counting stuff, so I skip right to the hiccuping on purpose. As long as I concentrate, it works every time.

The pencil thing might be worth a try, as would the lemon/lime juice thing, but I'll take a pass on the anal massage.