Dear Sophia: 

It’s very strange here now. Tomorrow I’m supposed to go on the ferry to the South Island to continue my Quest. The Auckland Covid-19 cluster has grown so much that the word is that we are going to be locking down again. I’m afraid that I might get stuck in Wellington. I mean, I like it here but getting locked down again was never on the menu. It could tip over the whole trip, ending it on the North Island.

Plus, I tend to get anxious about crossing the strait to the South Island in winter and need to just do it without overthinking it.

So I went driving tonight and picked up a really drunk guy in Courtney Place, ground zero for Wellington party culture. He was wearing a T-shirt – only. In mid-winter! He was lean but really well-muscled – martial arts for sure.

He was going from Wellington out to Plimmerton, which is just north of the city. He didn’t want to talk, which is cool, but he kept hiccuping, which is also cool. Except it went on for a long time and the SOUND of the hiccups kept getting wetter and wetter.

Like, maybe this is going to be a problem. A messy problem involving cleaning.

The first time I said “How you doin’ back there mate?” and he said “Don’t you worry about ME mate” which I considered. Did he think something was wrong with ME? I bristled at that.

Asked him again about 15 minutes later, his hiccuping sounds really loud at this point.

“Don’t you worry about me mate”. This time it was far more aggressive, snarling.

I sank into my seat. This, plus the worry about the ferry in the morning was really grinding my gears.

“RIGHT HERE!” He bellowed, I braked carefully and made the turn. He was still hiccupping. He was so aggressive, but the hiccupping made him sound vulnerable.

The two braided in my thoughts and I took a breath. “Thanks” I said “Have a good night”

He grunted and hiccuped his way out of the car.



PS: As a public service, I am attaching this wonderful Wikihow on ending hiccups when inebriated. Enjoy.