i had the hiccups.
not little hiccups, not polite, not, “oh that was cute,” hiccups.
magnificent hiccups, rude and terrifying, “i heard that from mongolia” hiccups.
i had them for a whole hour. miserable.
about the time my back was aching and every singultus felt as though it might blow my brains out, a man walked into the office. i think he had a moustache, but i can’t remember that now for sure.
when he noticed my condition, which took all of 2 seconds and one incredibly fancy diaphragm spasm, he smiled smoothly and asked, “has anyone tried to talk you out of those hiccups?”
i pasted on my friendly smile over top of my weirded out face and shook my head no.
he loved, he adored,that no one else had tried this approach. he leaned on my desk, inches from my face, and said in suddenly urgent tones, “now concentrate! on me! are you?”
my friendly smile fell off, exposing the expression of awkward disbelief beneath. but i nodded. and slowly, slowly slid my chair backwards a bit. just a tad.
“now,” said the man who maybe had a moustache, “give me a great big hiccup. concentrate very hard and try to hiccup.” he waited a moment, while i swallowed a breath of air and tried to make it look as though i was trying to hiccup. it was a long moment, but his cheshire cat grin didn’t abandon his face even once. finally, he stood up straight. he was satisfied with his work. “there,” he said with a sense of grand finality, “you’re cured.”
and, believe it or not, i was.