creativity decline of the Roman hiccup

Share
Related Topics
Readers have been most generous with advice on what to do with my hiccups. "Hold your breath for 15 minutes," advises WJ Rosengrave. "Drink to horrible excess," says Jonathan Leigh. "Block the ears," offers Donal O'Callaghan, saying he read it in the Lancet. "Drinking a nearly full glass of water from the wrong side with your thumbs stuck in your ears," Anthony Walker insists works every time. "Drink half a glass of Bucks Fizz slowly," Virginia Halfhide prescribes, "then spin round six times and finish it." "Spell it 'hiccoughs' and take a lozenge," says Tony Kelly. While Tom Gaunt suggests: "Hold your nose and drink a glass of water upside down, while parachuting blindfold from 20,000 feet, wearing a copper-lined suit during a thunderstorm."

Well-meaning though these suggestions are, we find them all prepositionally faulted. Perhaps we did not make it clear, but we sought ideas for things to do with hiccups, not for or to hiccups. Jill Phythian clearly got the correct message:

"Attach yourself to the arm of somebody with a heart condition and hiccup in time with their pulse. This will save the NHS money on expensive heart monitoring equipment." Ms Phythian regrets not having hiccups herself and asks if any readers can suggest how she might acquire some.

Tony Haken always sends his to Hicksville, Long Island, where he informs us there is a standing exhibition tracing the development of the hiccup from Colonel Custer to Arnold Schwarzenegger. They are displayed at piano recitals, Quaker meeting and gallery openings and, he says, "some of mine apparently had an interesting effect on the New York City Ballet during a performance of Mother Goose."

Frank Card sees them as a potential energy source: "every hiccup causes the Adam's apple to move, and the phenomenon should therefore be researched as a source of renewable 'baccup' energy which will never 'paccup'. The benefits 'staccup' quite nicely and you could 'piccup' a useful financial benefit." Len Clarke, more directly, suggests running a tube between your hiccupping mouth and the motor mower engine to save petrol. Meg Laing sees them as an auxiliary power source for competitors in the flea-circus para-Olympics.

Martin Brown suggests scattering them around the house as effective alarms and disabling devices. Mollie Caird suggests sprinkling them liberally on breakfast cereal. Snap, crackle and hic. Gabriel Rozenberg advises starting a hiccup collection and aiming for the first hiccup of the year 2000.

Des Waller mentions the great success of Wild Bill Hiccup. Fiona and John Earle classically point out that while men hiccup, women haeccup and aliens hoccup. FG Robinson makes the same point, continuing his declension accusatively to hunc-cups for bodybuilders. More readers suggested recording them, with a backing, to become a one-hic wonder on Top of the Pops.

Enough! We may return to this theme when space permits. Prizes to Jill Phythian, Tony Haken and Frank Card.

Next week we shall explore ideas for the Albert Memorial. Meanwhile, moving on to another historical monument, we seek ideas for things to do with Hampton Court Maze. Amazing ideas should be sent to: Creativity, the Independent, 1 Canada Sq, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL, to arrive by 11 August. Three Chambers Dictionary prizes await the senders of the ideas we like best.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month  

General Election 2015: Politics is the messy art of compromise, unpopular as it may be

David Blunkett
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012  

Vote Tory and you’re voting for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer

Mark Steel
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'