So, yesterday, The New York Times’s David Pogue spoke at a conference in Vegas. “The topic was Web 2.0,” he writes, “with all of its free-speech, global-collaboration ramifications.” Pogue figured that “the best way to explain Twitter was to demonstrate it, live, on the big screen at the front of the ballroom.” So he typed the following Twitter message to his followers: “I need a cure for hiccups… RIGHT NOW! Help?”
“I hit Enter,” Pogue continues. “I told the audience that we would start getting replies in 15 seconds, but it didn’t even take that long. Here are some of the replies that began scrolling up the screen”:
* florian: Put a cold spoon on your back - that’s what my grandfather would do for hiccups.
* megs_pvd: Put your head between your knees and swallow hard.
* bethbellor: Packets of sugar.
* jfraga: BOOOOOOOOOOO! (How many of those did you get?)
[Answer: about 20.]
* michaeljoel: drop a lit match in a glass of water to extinguish it. take out match. drink water.
* jbelmont: Simple. Just hold your breath until Windows 7 is released.
* rgalloway: Have someone slowly & softly count backwards from 10-1 in Russian for you. Works every time!
* warcand: check your 401K. That should scare the hiccups right out of ya!
* drct: The cure for hiccups is simply to get the air out of your stomach. How is up to you.
* kashaziz: Take a glass of water, hold your breath and gulp it down. Distraction helps against hiccups.
* hornsolo: Stand on your head, drink water backwards, and gurgle, “Microsoft sucks!”
* aaaaiiiieeee: There’s gotta be something in the App Store for it by now.
* garmstrong65: Sounds crazy, but it works. Take 9 sips of water then say, “January.” Laugh now, but you’ll thank me when the hiccups are gone.
* ransomtech: On Twitter, they are Twiccups.
* erlingmork: Peanut butter on a spoon.
* squealingrat: With a popsicle stick or something clean, touch the little thing at the back of your throat. This causes the muscles to change.
* bschlenker: hello from the back of the room ;-)
* amysprite: plug your ears and nose and drink seven gulps of water. Difficult, but do-able. Works like a charm EVERY time.
* SullivanHome: With right hand, reach around to behind left shoulder tightly and grab some back flesh, hold for up to a minute and no hiccups.
* jillgee: Promise yourself something you really, really want (and mean it) if you do hiccup again. It works!
* assignmentdesk1: Hold your breath and go slowly thru ABC’s. Then at Z, take another deep breath without exhaling. Then slowly exhale.
* DavidWms: Drink out of far side of water glass (best done over sink). Works every time.
* enrevanche: Dry-swallow a spoon of granulated sugar. The trick is to overwhelm the overstimulated vagus nerve (causing hiccups) with new input.
* JuanluR: eat a full spoon of crushed ice.
* Chiron1: I take large sips of bourbon. It doesn’t stop the hiccups, but I stop caring!
* chadrem: hold your breath until you pass out. Whenever you wake up, no more hiccups!
* tiffanyanderson: Rub both of your ear lobes at the same time. Hiccups will go away. :^D
* tommertron: The best way I’ve found is to just relax and try to forget about them. I find stressing out about them makes it worse.
* SocialMediaSabs: try drinking a cup of water with a paper napkin over it - I swear it works!
“Has there ever been a wittier, smarter bunch (or a better collection of hiccup cures)?” Pogue asks. “The audience and I were marveling and laughing at the same time. This was it: harnessing the power of the Web, the collective wisdom of strangers, in real time! The Twitterers of the world did not let us down.”Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.