THE BLOG

How to Cure Hiccups

05/12/2013 08:53 pm ET | Updated Jul 12, 2013
  • John R. Talbott Bestselling author of Survival Investing: How to Prosper Amid Thieving Banks and Corrupt Governments and professor of finance at S P Jain School of Global Management
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I can't remember who first showed me how to cure hiccups. I know it was late in life, sometime in my late thirties. The cure came too late to help me. But, ever since then I have been enormously grateful.

Not just for the relief it has provided me in times of need. More importantly, for the increased status it has given me at cocktail parties and bars when I demonstrate my magic and people stare at me with awe. If you think women are in awe of bankers and lawyers, you should see the looks they give someone who can control the supernatural.

We all know that there is no cure for hiccups. The suggested remedies border on voodoo pagan rituals. Scare the person senseless, drink out of the wrong side of the glass, etc.

So imagine my surprise when the cure worked on me. I quickly became a practitioner helping those long afflicted. Now, every cure doesn't work all the time on every person, but the success rate of this one is north of 50 percent, which is pretty good considering all the untreated cases out there. Imagine the productivity gains we could achieve if just 50 percent of all hiccups in the world were curable. Six billion people on the planet get hiccups at least once a month which translates into total potential productivity savings of $90 billion a year, about double the profitability of the world's largest corporation.

And, it is simple. No surgery involved. No need to change your religion. No relocation to a warmer climate required.

Simply take the hand of the person afflicted and squeeze hard on the surface of the fingernail of the pinky finger for ten seconds. That's it. If I could have packaged the idea I would have sold it for billions. I was told it works because there are acupressure points in the pinky that control and relax the throat, but because I don't believe in acupressure I found this explanation unsatisfactory. Maybe the pain in the finger gets the person to forget he has the hiccups. I don't know. To me it is just magic.

The jury is still out on whether the method can be self-administered. I have found varying degrees of success using myself and my pinky as test subjects.

But, here is the truly amazing part of the story. My dog, Chompsky (yes, named after Noam, but with a p) got the hiccups this morning. Chompky, sort of a border collie/golden retriever mix, only smaller and oranger, has a stubborn and independent streak worthy of his namesake. I live alone so there was no one around to ask what the hell I was doing, so I picked up Chompsky's paw and squeezed what would be his pinky toe if dogs had pinky toes. Immediately, his uncontrollable hiccups stopped. Chompsky looked at me as amazed as I looked at him. For the first time he truly understood why he called me master.

After three minutes of hysterical laughing, I managed to crawl my way to my computer to relay these incredible results to you. Again, not just to provide relief to the hundreds of millions of canine sufferers out there. No, here is the missing link. The tie that binds all species together. We truly are one giant family. Certainly, if other species have the same cure for hiccups then understanding consciousness, reasoning and emotions across species cannot be that difficult.

Some doctoral student needs to immediately expand my research to cats, just watch out for the claws. Although, I don't expect major productivity gains from curing cats as they really weren't doing anything momentous before they became afflicted.

If successful, I could see this growing into an entire new field of scientific discovery with the treatment of chickens, monkeys and mountain lions. The need for qualified researchers would be immense given the losses we would expect from pinky holding with mountain lions. This would truly represent the end of science as once we conquer this scourge is there really anything we can't do.

John R. Talbott is a best selling author and economic consultant to families whose books predicted the housing crash and the economic crisis. You can read more about his books, the accuracy of his predictions and his financial consulting activities at www.stopthelying.com