Preparations were well underway for what was slated, against all odds, to become the second annual 221B Baker Street Christmas party, but there was a little hiccup in the works. Well, to be honest, it wasn’t just a little hiccup. It was a truly, amazingly, unbelievably intractable case of hiccups.
For John Watson — the one thus afflicted — this was a source of intense irritation. For Sherlock Holmes — his mad scientist of a flatmate — it was a golden opportunity for experimentation.
“Now that we’re past the 48 hour mark, your hiccups can officially be upgraded from transient to persistent,” Sherlock announced, with more relish than John thought the case warranted. “I’ve been researching possible cures, and there are several I’d like to try out.”
“I don’t want to be your (hic) guinea pig!”
“Not to worry. The first treatment is one I’m sure you’ll enjoy. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, a spoonful of sugar was found to be effective in 19 out of 20 patients.”
“And you promise you haven’t (hic) drugged the sugar?”
“Stop being so suspicious. That was one time! Come on.”
John watched Sherlock carefully measure out a level teaspoon of sugar. He opened his mouth obligingly as Sherlock extended the spoon toward his lips. The extreme sweetness zinged over his tongue.
“Is it working?” Sherlock asked.
“Maybe. I’m not sure (hic) yet.” John groaned as the end of his sentence was interrupted by another hiccup. “Damn it!”
“We’ll wait 15 minutes, then try another dose.”
They tried another dose. No effect. They tried upping the dose to two teaspoons, then to a tablespoon. Still no effect. Sherlock insisted on repeating the experiment every 15 minutes until John had a headache, a stomach ache, and a massive sugar high on top of his undiminished hiccups.
“I give up,” John said at last. “This isn’t (hic) working! I must be the 1 out of 20 patients sugar doesn’t cure.”
“Don’t worry,” Sherlock said in what he seemed to believe was a soothing tone. “I have another remedy we can try tomorrow.”
Somehow, John didn’t find this reassuring.