How to Get Rid of Hiccups in 15 Seconds

“How do you get rid of the hiccups?”

I love that question, especially when it’s posed to a group of friends or, even better, at a party. By asking such an innocent question you quickly become the sole focus of all the world-renowned hiccup experts within a 50 foot radius. They approach you. They swarm you. They attack you. All coming to the rescue out of an earnest belief that they know the cure for hiccups. They start shouting their instructions, all totally absurd and completely hilarious to anyone watching this exorcism of the demonic entity. LET THE HEALING BEGIN!

There’s the one girl, the little ninja, who will not stop sneaking up behind you in attempts to scare the hiccups away. There’s the one guy, the recreational hunter, who keeps dancing around you in anguish, imploring you to let him concentrate all your focus on something unbearably frightening by holding the tip of his pocket knife to your open palm. There’s that other girl, the hard-nosed lady cop from the new hit show on TNT, who interrogates you with a relentless barrage of questions to distract the hiccups away. Then there’s that other guy, the circus ringmaster, who believes the more actions performed the better: “Hold your breath!  Now do body-weight squats! Now focus on your form! Now think about reciting the alphabet backwards! Now juggle these flaming torches! KEEP GOING!” And as you do all these things there’s that weird girl, the Paula Deen wannabe, who for some reason believes that shoveling lemon juice and pickles down your throat is surely the best method for success.

The irony in all of this is that by the time you have attempted the myriad healing methods, and by the time the hiccups have finally ceased, you feel transitory relief before it is washed over by a surge of frustration brought on by uncertainty: Which one of those methods actually worked? Or did my hiccups cease simply because they (eventually) always do?

In addition to the problem of not knowing which method actually works (if any), there is the other problem: when you have the hiccups but your friends are not around and you are in a public setting, all of the aforementioned methods look ridiculous and are thus totally embarrassing. If you performed any of those methods in public then you would look like a legitimate maniac. Passersby might phone the authorities out of a serious concern for your well-being.

So maybe you should try a hiccup-ceasing method that you can perform in public without anyone noticing. And one that actually works all by itself without the simultaneous assistance of other “cures.” Ready for it? Okay, here it is: hold your breath.

WHAT?! You’ve already heard of that one? Oh. Well, so had I, but unbeknownst to me, I was doing it the wrong way — I used to take a deep breath IN before holding my breath. Until today, that is.

Today, I was walking down the sidewalk when the hiccups hit me. As usual, I immediately performed the ol’ inhale-and-hold-your-breath method, but — as usual — it didn’t work. So I decided to try something new: instead of breathing IN before holding my breath, I breathed OUT. I EXHALED. And I did not breath back in; I kept all the air out. And I kept walking down the sidewalk. And it worked immediately. My hiccups were gone within 15 seconds. Probably less. FACT.

So how and why did this EXHALE-and-hold-your-breath method work? I’m not totally sure, and I’m not a scientist, but I assume it’s a combination of these two factors:

1) scaring your brain — something that would certainly earn the approval of “the little ninja” and “the recreational hunter” — by consciously inducing a bodily state worthy of panic (i.e. expelling all air from your lungs to make the brain panic and say “Holy crap I have no air in my lungs but I am walking and I need some air for this activity!”)

2) the complete absence of oxygen in the lungs (because hiccuping happens when the diaphragm and nearby muscles convulse, but muscles don’t work very well in the complete absence of oxygen, so maybe no oxygen = no muscles convulsing = no hiccuping)

To be completely honest with you, though, I don’t care how it worked. All I care about is that it worked. Now that you know how I was able to get rid of hiccups in 15 seconds, you can try it the next time you get the hiccups. Just hold your breath, but remember: don’t breath IN; breath OUT.

Breath out to get them out. Good luck!

– Jonah Lundberg

© 2011 Jonah Lundberg. All Rights Reserved. Powered by WordPress.


A Funny Thing Happened To Me Last Saturday

note: this was originally written last Saturday (April 9, 2011)

Today I was writing a law paper on the 26th floor of StuVi2, and I watched the jets fly over Fenway Park for the Red Sox home opener. It was cool, to say the least, and I tried to soak it all in, that stunning skyline on a perfectly clear spring day, as I knew that I would be graduating in one month, never to see that view again.

After I finished writing my paper, I took the elevator down to my eight-man suite on the 18th floor. As the elevator descended, I began reading a lengthy and detailed email on my BlackBerry, with the smartphone close to my face to see everything on the small screen. As the doors opened a guy walked in as I walked out, my head still hunched and eyes still locked on my BlackBerry as I walked down the hall until I reached my eight-man suite, the second door on the left, and opened it without a key because we always leave our main door unlocked, walked in, saw someone on the couch out of the corner of my eye (probably Dan; he was watching TV when I left), said a casual “Hey,” then noticed a deflated air mattress on the floor of the hallway outside my room that was not there when I had left. Then I noticed that the bathroom across from my room looked completely different — why were the tiles green and not grey?

I spun around, looked at the guy in the Red Sox cap on the couch, and he said “Hey” with a look of amused bewilderment, as if responding to a quiet “hello” from a stranger who was in his face on a crowded but silent subway making its morning commute.

“HEY. Uh. What floor am I on?”

“Nineteen,” he replied, grinning.

“OH!! HAHA, I live on eighteen, I live on EIGHTEEN! HAHA, sorry about that…

…welp, see ya later,” I said.

“See ya!” he said back, returning to his book.

And then I walked out, laughing all the way down the hallway. BlackBerrys can make you look like an idiot.

– Jonah Lundberg

© 2011 Jonah Lundberg. All Rights Reserved. Powered by WordPress.


6 Phases of Auditing

My brother, an auditor for a major accounting firm in NYC, sent this to me via email. This post is in honor of my brother, young auditors all across the country, and cats.

Phase 1
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You are listening to jazz — Your first day at work is great. Your fellow auditors are wonderful, the office is nice, you love your clients, and when you finally get paid it is the best!

Phase 2
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You are listening to pop music — After a while you are so busy that you are not sure if you’re coming or going anymore.

Phase 3
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You are listening to heavy metal — This is what you feel like after ONE month.

Phase 4
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You are listening to hip hop — You become bloated due to stress, you’re gaining weight due to lack of exercise because you are so tired and have so much work to do and, when you do get home, you feel sluggish and suffer from constipation. Your fellow co-workers are too cheerful for your liking and the walls of your audit room are closing in. You have started thinking ‘WHATEVER’ about your team.

Phase 5
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You are listening to GANGSTA RAP — After more time passes, your eyes start to twitch and you forget what a ‘good hair day’ feels like as you just fall out of bed and load up on caffeine.

Phase 6
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You are listening to the voices in your head — You have locked yourself in the bathroom to keep people out.  You wonder WHY you are even here in the first place and WHY you became an auditor!

Jonah Lundberg

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