Hiccups are Involuntary

Please pray for my dad, Roy. He began surgery today at 5:15 a.m. Florida time. It’s expected to last 8-10 hours. Please pray for an uncomplicated surgery and fast recovery. Scroll down a couple of posts for the full info.

hiccupsstandhead.jpeg“I mind-over-mattered my hiccups away,” she said. “Are you crazy?” I said. “Hiccups are involuntary!” “Not for me.”

I love my wife dearly, but sometimes she creeps me out. There, I’ve said it. I admit it. How weird is this: yesterday three out of four of my family had the hiccups. At different times.

sonic-burger.jpegI had my first bout after lunch at Sonic Burger. Ever been there? They actually have car hops on roller skates bring you great burgers on extraordinarily soft buns (okay, I blew the lo-carb thing… I’m feeling stressed!). I ate fast. Result? Malignant hiccups. The kind that hurt. Josh, one of my fellow pastors, was amused. If he weren’t 6′ 3″ of solid muscle–a mountain man who grew up exploring caves in Africa–I would have whacked him upside his head. So I settled for imagining myself whacking him upside the head.

My hiccups lasted about 25 minutes. I’ve always had an irrational fear of getting hiccups during a sermon. But let’s not go there.

Some time after dinner, Margi squared off with her own bout of hiccups and won. Here’s how. Margi has these cute, demure, feminine hiccups. When I hiccup, it’s a whole-body convulsion coupled with an audio-explosion, followed by an acid-injection into my upper gastro-intestinal tract. swallowtail.jpegWhen she hiccups, it’s a swallowtail butterfly lighting on a daffodil. The slightest, daintiest “huh” followed by a cute little grin. The kids loved it. They tried to “BOO!” away the hiccups. No success.

Margi went into the bedroom, and emerged a few moments later with triumph splashed across her forensic brow. You’d have though she was Johnny Cochran after he whupped Marcia Clark. Look up smug in wikipedia, and Margi’s picture would have been there. “I mind-over-mattered my hiccups away. I stood there and willed them away. I kept thinking don’t hiccup, don’t hiccup, don’t hiccup. And they’re gone!” She smiled her gleaming smile with her perfectly, bright white teeth–the smile that captivated me in the first place. A woman is a wondrous thing: satisfied at the mystical mastery of hiccups; yet dissatisfied over a few loud snores here and there. What does a woman want anyway, really?

hiccup-anatomy.jpegI rationally explained that she didn’t “mind-over-matter” her hiccups away. That they are a sudden, INVOLUNTARY, contraction of the diaphragm, and that for millennia the human race has pondered the question of how to cure a hiccup and so it was completely unfeasible, if not unreasonable, if not bordering on hubris that she had successfully turned that which is involuntary into that which is voluntary, and then simply refused to volunteer. It’s not that easy.

bwhiccupcure.jpegIf it were that easy, I wondered, why wouldn’t Charles Osborne, who hiccuped for 68 straight years, and who undoubtetly tried EVERYTHING, including willpower, have beat the curse? And, I wondered, is she saying that her willpower is stronger than my willpower? Harrumph! I thought.

Because later my cute, six-year-old daughter caught the hiccup bug. Hers are sweet. Much more present and respectable than her mom’s. Not as convulsive and ugly as mine. A few minutes watching Maggie and the Ferocious Beast charmed them away.

After we put the kids to bed, I got my second attack of the hiccups (I took the hit my son deserved–very theological). Manly hiccups. I tasted my Italian salad dressing’s triumphal return to my throat. I hicced fast and furiously. And hard. Ouch!

Margi laughed.

I glared, though a mightily spastic hiccup interrupted me.

hiccupback.jpegI drank a cup of water backwards… put your mouth on the opposite edge of the cup and drink. You have to bend over forward. I have mastered this skill, which I saw Cary Grant do in one of his movies. It actually works. Usually. Not last night, though. I think I’ve gotten too good at the technique.

I tried to “mind-over-matter” them away. Okay, Margi’s willpower is stronger than mine. She wins. Please don’t tell her though.

The closest thing to hiccups I could find in the Bible is this: ““I have held My peace a long time, I have been still and restrained Myself. Now I will cry like a woman in labor, I will pant and gasp at once.” Isaiah 42:14, NKJV.

Let’s just leave it at that.


3 thoughts on “Hiccups are Involuntary

  1. So, do you still have them????

    And, how is your dad? I’m still praying for him….recovery is a long haul….

  2. Yep – need an update on your dad…

    And – HOLD YOUR BREATH for crying out loud. 🙂 If you can hold it through at least 3 hiccups, they’ll go away – it always works (though yours sound pretty determined). 😉 The only other viable alternative is to have someone ask you to recount the last time you saw a white horse (and you have to answer). (Your wife probably just recounted this in her head…)

  3. Put 1/2 tsp baking soda in your mouth. Then gargle immediately with red wine vinegar….no…wait. That’s something else.

    Try this. Put a glass of water on the table. Drink it through a straw, while plugging your ears with your fingers. (Sometimes toes work better).

    Finally, I have a 100% failsafe cure. But I can’t post it.


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