The topic of waterboarding was in the news a few years ago. This method of extracting information from suspected terrorists – otherwise known as torture – has its critics. Many see it as cruel and unusual punishment, while others consider it an effective means of saving lives. It is a form of water torture in which water is poured over a cloth covering the face and breathing passages of an immobilized captive, causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning. Ain’t that a joy. Who thinks of these things?
While I tend to stay on the right side of the law for the most part, and therefore do not fear being tortured to divulge state secrets, I often wonder who long I would be able to hold out. As I see it, should I ever be tortured I figure about 0.0067 seconds into the process I would start spouting classified information, and if I did not know any, I would start making up information.
But what would be just as effective on me as the infamous waterboarding would be – if such a thing exists – the introduction of hiccups. Yes indeed those diaphragm jarring, ultra infuriating, spasms that, once they set in, make life a misery for their duration. For some folks hiccups or hiccoughs if you prefer, are nothing more than a mere annoyance. For this agent they are exasperating. Many a pleasant evening has been interrupted by the onset of this curse.
Fortunately, I have, over the years, discovered that a yoga shoulder stand with breath held gets rid of them nine out of ten times. I only turn to this as a last resort, not just because it is a bit risky given the possibility of passing-out, but does tend to draw a crowd of onlookers when performed in the men’s room! Like most I go through the steps of holding my breath, (someone told me to apply pressure to the trigeminal nerve under the jawline at the same time), sipping ice water, a bit of sugar or vinegar, and even a quick Google search to see who the patron saint of hiccups is – alas they have not yet deemed the problem needs a saint.
Once all these socially acceptable attempts have been exhausted and I am still convulsing like a fool every seven or eight seconds, and starting to hurt, I hightail it off to the nearest men’s room or bedroom should I be at someone’s home. Down on the floor I get, up go my legs and before you know it I’m breathing naturally once again.