Hiccups in the Library

It’s the end of the semester at my university, which means that the library (which can often be a social place) has transformed into a beehive of cramming and researching for final papers. All the students are focused on getting the most out of the last few days they have left. Procrastination is no longer an option, and every moment counts.

Hardly the best place to come down with a bad case of the hiccups, especially when your office is smack dab in the middle of this den of activity. And yet that’s what happened to me.

You know the feeling. You have a single hiccup, and your life goes on hold for a moment as you hope and pray it was just a one-off occurrence. You wait, and then it happens again. And again. And there I am in my office, looking out at all the students who now have to try and cram and research while the dumb librarian keeps a steady stream of Hic! Hic! Hic! coming out of his office.

The problem is, I’ve always had one tried and true method for getting rid of the hiccups: a get a heaping tablespoon of sugar and eat it all at once. Never fails me. But first off, I’m in a library. There’s sugar in the coffee bar in a big container, but the thought of walking over there and pouring sugar directly down my throat in public is hardly appealing. But it’s not like I have my own personal stash of sugar. I gave that all up, remember?

So I tried to wait it out. Hiccups aren’t forever, right? But these ones were stubborn. And they increased in frequency. I tried holding my breath, getting a drink of water, thinking of something else.

Nothing worked.

Time to try a brisk walk around the block. Fresh air will do the trick, right?


So then I turned to my coworkers, desperate for help. After their good-natured making fun of my plight was finished, they had two suggestions:

  • Put my head between my knees for a while.
  • Close my eyes and picture a grey horse.

I have no idea if they were kidding or not, but reader, I tried them both. Neither worked at all. Sure, there was that pause. That endless wait as you try and see if the hiccups are passed on or simply resting. But each time, they returned.

But I had one final ace in the hole. Yesterday, the library gave out free s’mores to students to celebrate the end of the semester. We had a slew of marshmallows left over from the event. And marshmallows are pretty much sugar, right?

I grabbed five and headed to my office.

The first one did nothing. The second made the hiccups pause, so I downed the next three all at once, cramming all that ooey goodness into my mouth as fast as I could. Sure, I looked like a chipmunk, but worst case scenario meant they’d at least muffle the hiccups for a bit. And hey–marshmallows!

It worked. No more hiccups. Life can proceed again, and student cramming and researching can reign in the library once more.

I’m sure you’ll all sleep better now, right?

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