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A Cure for the Hiccups

December 8, 2008 | 5 Comments

Dear Mr. Keillor,
I recently saw your show in NYC on December 6th. It was really wonderful! It made for a great day and it would have been a REALLY great day, had I not been plagued by hiccups.

Then it occurred to me — when a mere 17 year old girl from New Jersey gets hiccups, it's no big deal. But what about when YOU finds you are having repeated spasmodic contractions of the diaphragm while ON AIR?



Hasn't happened to me yet, Julia, and thanks for raising the specter in my mind. I guess I'd just signal the band and they'd play something loud for awhile and I'd put my head under water. On Saturday night, I started coughing, but a stage manager dashed out with a bottle of water and I was okay. There is something about adrenaline that suppresses these problems, I find. I've started the show with a blazing headache and pretty soon it's all gone. I've been sick to my stomach and doing the show clears that up. And I have never had to pee during a show. Never. Isn't that interesting? So the cure to your hiccup problem, Julia, is to put yourself into serious trouble — like, doing a show in New York — and that'll take care of it.


It's weird, isn't it? I find that in the summer months the best way to cure a throbbing headache is to go out and mow the lawn! The noise and distraction and satisfaction of being productive seem to knock it right out of me.

Wouldn't a shot of ketchup do the trick? It has those natural mellowing agents...

Well, if you have never had to pee during a show (suppressed by adrenaline), maybe I need to do public speaking to my wife all night long! because i hate getting up 2 or 3 times in the night to pee!

I so loved the 'specter in your mind' response. I've been hanging with ghosts of late, many whom were terribly funny characters that I miss. Your hick-upping self image, popping before your eyes while on stage was a laugh out loud moment for me. I'll sleep well tonight. Thank you

Personally, I've found that when Julia even raises the specter of an idea, it seems somehow to come true. Hiccup!

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