I keep getting the hiccups. What’s up with that?
Dear Hiccuping guy,
Hiccups are annoying indeed. Allow me to explain the process and history of hiccuping, knowing full well that it will not help you in any way.
Hiccups are tiny ferrets that live under your diaphragm. The diaphragm is a small, spring loaded rubber dome that women of a certain age used to call “The Moodkiller.” Apparently the tiny respiratory ferrets are quite moody. The science is still quite thin.
You can’t control hiccups. In fact, attempting to just makes them angry. Once hiccups are angry they will punch you in the chest from inside your own rib cage over and over again at totally random intervals. Angry hiccups can only be appeased with red wine and a nap.
Most involuntary actions are evolutionary leftovers. We still have traits that enabled our ancestors to live through ice ages, liopleurodon attacks, and geometry classes. So now we shiver to produce body heat. We scream and run when we see spiders. We stab pencils in our eyes to stay awake in math class. All of this is done unconsciously.
So it stands to reason that hiccups have some biological imperative. But they don’t. They are completely useless This may be why they are so moody.
even Banana Slugs.
I’m here to help. And you know you can trust me,
because I have an awesome soul-patch.
Submit questions for Jethro via his website: www.TheAnswerCat.blogspot.com.
This column will be posted there one week after its publication here in the absolutely awesome Culver City Crossroads.