I kid you not. One of my ex-sons-in-law told me this tip. The funny thing is, when I thanked him for it some years afterward, he didn’t remember telling it to me. Maybe he was just jerking my chain, but it works, anyway.

Okay, first find the spot. It’s halfway between the hollow at the base of your throat and the hollow between your … um … pectorals. Halfway between, okay. Got it? Good.

Next time you get the hiccups, concentrate on that spot. You don’t have to hold your breath. You don’t have to look at the spot, or touch it or press it or rub it or anything; just concentrate your inner attention on it. If that doesn’t stop the hiccups right away, try moving the center of your attention up or down that line until you find your sweet spot.

I used to be a martyr to hiccups. I hiccuped like a cartoon character. If I didn’t let it out in a HIC that startled birds into flight, the force of it would shake my whole body and literally hurt. The attack could last for hours and left me sore. There’s probably a medical term for it, but I don’t know what it is. Sometimes holding my breath stopped it, sometimes drinking water and counting to ten, or twenty, or as far as I could before red spots started dancing for me would stop it. I remember somebody making me breathe into a brown paper bag, probably in the hope that carbon dioxide poisoning would spare them the ordeal of watching me. I remember my mother’s mother singing me a song about “Got the HICcups, oh, Lordy…,” hoping I could laugh them away, which sometimes helped and sometimes made them worse. Same with people jumping at me and going, “BOO!” in hopes of scaring them out of me.

Since I learned this sweet spot thing, I haven’t had the hiccups for more than a minute, tops. I hope it works for you, too.

MA

writing prompt: Give a character the hiccups at an inappropriate time: in church, while hiding, during a romantic conversation, in a space suit, underwater….

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