Thursday, November 20, 2008


I got home late last night, got into bed around 2:00, and soon thereafter had a fit of the hiccups. I get them more frequently than I'd like -- sometimes from laughing, but even more often from drinking something carbonated or just clearing my throat. They tend to feel very deep, and cause real chest pain. It's fun.

After a few minutes last night/this morning, I got up, realizing they weren't going to stop anytime soon. They finally did, around 3:30. That's pretty bad, but I have my fingers crossed that I never find myself with a truly epic case. It would be bad enough to be like this girl in Florida, who had the hiccups for three straight weeks. Whenever mine last for any real duration, my mind drifts to the character in The Simpsons who had them for 25 years. They cut to an interview with him, which just consists of him saying, "(Hiccup). Kill me. (Hiccup.) Kill me..."

But forget that. Turns out the real-life record is...68 years. It's held by Charles Osborne from Iowa, who started hiccuping in 1922, while about to slaughter a hog, and stopped hiccuping in February 1990.
During the first few decades, he hiccupped up to 40 times a minute, slowing to 20 a minute in later years.
That's once every three seconds in the good years. It's estimated that Osborne hiccuped 430 million times during this stretch ("this stretch" here being more or less equal to "his life"). Not only did he manage to avoid suicide, he married twice and had eight children. He died a year after the hiccups mysteriously stopped.

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Blogger figment said...

I'm infamous for my violent hiccups, the kind that make return visits at least 4 times in the same day. But after reading this I'm thanking my lucky stars. My only tried and true cure thus far has been sucking on a lemon w/ bitters poured on top. And repeat when they return a couple hrs later. Of course this only works if you happen to be in a bar (or grocery store). Lucky for me my bouts usually strike while I'm at the former. Go figure.

11:09 PM  

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