As my coworkers and roommates over the years can tell you: I have louder, and therefore funnier, than average hiccups. The involuntary diaphragm spasms also have great timing, always managing to show up just as I’m about to finish a sentence like “No, I just have the hiccups,” or “Just give me a chance to hold my breath for a bit,” or “Shhhhhh.”
And while usually I can rid myself of them by manhandling my diaphragm by taking very deep breaths in and out, Mallory Kievman has done me one better by inventing a lollipop that cures hiccups in her kitchen. She is only thirteen.
According to the New York Times, Mallory began researching the many, many hiccup cures out there after a persistent bout of hiccups in the summer of 2010. From breath holding, to pickle juice, to gargling, to drinking glasses of water upside down (which I always assumed was a prank somebody had made up to plague hiccup sufferers). After all that experimentation Mallory chose her three favorite working solutions, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and sucking on a lollipop, and combined them.
As she told the NYT:
It triggers a set of nerves in your throat and mouth that are responsible for the hiccup reflex arc. It basically over-stimulates those nerves and cancels out the message to hiccup.
Mallory didn’t want to stop at simply inventing the Hiccupop, though. Instead, she entered the pops in the Connecticut Invention Convention, an inventing competition for kids, where they won prizes for innovation and patentability. And part of those wins were some intellectual property lawyers who filed for a patent (pending) in her name. But she didn’t stop there, either, because soon some graduate business students from the University of Connecticut’s outreach program Innovation Accelerator will be helping her bring Hiccupops to market over this summer.
Mallory’s dad, Adam, is naturally quite proud:
It’s funny to see her give a business overview presentation, because she shows the organizational chart and there’s her as the C.E.O. and head of R&D. Then you get a picture of me, and it says ‘adult supervision.’ It’s been great to see it come together because this was something that she developed on her own. I’m trying to do my best to support it but to also not, you know, drive it.
Says Mallory of her father’s:
He’s helping me with a lot of the business stuff. And he’s also helping me handle stuff like using the stove.
Mallory hopes to get Hiccupops in school nurse offices and drugstores, but also in hospitals, since hiccups are a common side effect of chemotherapy. For right now, though she’s worked out a formula that will allow for long-term shelf storage, she’s still “tweaking” the taste and finding the right manufacturer. She says she hopes to be a doctor some day, and if Hiccupops are any indication of her ability to act on ambition, we think she’ll make it.
(via I Heart Chaos.)