Two Simple Remedies by
(89 Stories)

Prompted By Senior Moments

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Remedy #1

This is what happens now: I’m doing one thing — say, making the bed — and I think of another — say, needing to change the Brita filter — but by the time I’ve finished Thing 1, I’ve forgotten all about Thing 2.

Well, I’ve come up with a remedy. As soon as I think of Thing 2 while in the midst of Thing 1, I begin counting out loud. By the time I’ve finished Thing 1, I’m still counting and that reminds me to do Thing 2. Of course if I’m brushing my teeth when I think of something I need to add to the grocery list, I can’t count out loud, but I can count to myself until I’ve finished rinsing and it still works.

This is something new, and so far it’s worked every time. I think I’ve actually conquered this annoying problem…as long as I can remember why I’m counting. I even tried it out with a Thing 3 — “one, one, two, two, three, three, four, four,” etc. Beyond that, all bets are off…I’m not that wacky!

I haven’t, by the way, figured out how to apply this remedy to reheating my coffee in the microwave. I put it in there for one minute, and you’d think with the microwave doing the counting, I can just wander off and tend to something else…because I can’t just stand in one spot for 60 seconds now, can I? Yet pretty much every single time, hours later, there I find it, sitting cold and dead in the microwave. What the…?

Remedy #2

This next remedy has nothing to do with senior moments…it’s about getting rid of hiccups. But since I shared one remedy, I thought I’d share another. This one, too, is incredibly simple and pretty much foolproof. I can’t remember where or when or how I came up with it…have searched for it on the Internet and can’t find any mention of it, but believe me, it works:

If someone has the hiccups, without explaining what you’re doing, ask them what they had for dinner last night. While they’re thinking and reciting, they’re likely to have already stopped hiccuping. If not, ask for more details…what did they have to drink, what about dessert, etc. And if they still have the hiccups, just move on to another meal. I would say 9 times out of 10 it works…somehow it breaks the hiccup cycle.

I actually performed this magic trick on a stranger several years ago (March 26, 1994) at a UB-40 concert. The young woman sitting next to me couldn’t stop hiccuping so, over the strains of, I don’t know, maybe “Red Red Wine,” I boldly asked her what she’d had for dinner last night and, though she undoubtedly thought I was a little odd, as she started telling me, she suddenly realized her hiccups were gone, and why, and then excitedly told everyone she was with that I’d cured her.

And guess what? You can perform the same magic on yourself! And you don’t even have to do it out loud…just think about what you had to eat, adding as many details or meals as necessary until you’ve stopped hiccuping.

Now you just have to remember to do it!


Profile photo of Barbara Buckles Barbara Buckles
Artist, writer, storyteller, spy. Okay, not a spy…I was just going for the rhythm.

I call myself “an inveterate dabbler.” (And my husband calls me “an invertebrate babbler.”) I just love to create one way or another. My latest passion is telling true stories live, on stage. Because it scares the hell out of me.

As a memoirist, I focus on the undercurrents. Drawing from memory, diaries, notes, letters and photographs, I never ever lie, but I do claim creative license when fleshing out actual events in order to enhance the literary quality, i.e., what I might have been wearing, what might have been on the table, what season it might have been. By virtue of its genre, memoir also adds a patina of introspection and insight that most probably did not exist in real time.

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Characterizations: funny, right on!, well written


  1. Khati Hendry says:

    Score!! Two hints from Heloise in one post, both brilliant. Now if I can only remember them…

  2. Laurie Levy says:

    I will have to try Remedy #1, as this has become a problem for me too. As a multitasker who can’t stay with something without also trying to do the next thing, forgetting what that next thing was is very frustrating. Post-its help me if I can find one while brushing my teeth to remind me of my next idea for something I want to write. Thanks for #2. Will try it next time.

  3. Betsy Pfau says:

    Great mental tricks, Barb! I like the counting. I write things on yellow sticky notes, unless I’m not near one. Then I’m doomed.

    I concentrate on my breathing (and diaphragm) to control hiccups, but your method sounds good too. I suspect they work in similar fashions. Yea, man.

  4. Marian says:

    LOL, Barb, and totally true about microwaving the coffee … that’s Dick’s trick. But I do love the hint about counting, that’s great and I’ll try it, since I tend to flit around and forget task 1 or 2. A few years ago, when traveling, I came up with mnemonics to make sure we kept proper track of luggage and possessions in airports and hotels. For example, when we had three items, I’d repeat “Three bags full …” every time we went from place to place.

  5. Suzy says:

    Two good tips which I will certainly have to try. And thanks for the clip from Red Red Wine, a delightful earworm. I actually had to go to youtube so I could listen to the whole song, which is playing as I write this.

  6. Thanx Bebe, will try to remember those remedies!

    Here’s something silly that works for me when I can’t find something – like keys, or eyeglasses. Go into the kitchen and take a cup out of the cupboard. Turn it over and back a few times. Then look again for your keys or eyeglasses! If you find them, thank me!

    (And isn’t it funny, they’re always in the very last place you look!)

  7. John Shutkin says:

    Two great tips, Barb — even if the hiccups one qualifies for what we corporate types would call “scope creep” in terms of the actual prompt.

    I plan to try Hint #1 (I don’t hiccup much.) But I worrry that, as you suggest, I’ll only remember that I have something else to remember, not exactly what it is. Which I think I already do subconsciously — not by counting, but by simply having a nagging sense of “there’s something else, too.” In any event, thank you for sharing this possibly terrific “workaround” with us.

    Now what was the other thing I wanted to write here?

  8. I’ve got an alternative to the bed-to-Brita challenge. If I’m making the bed and think of the Brita, I drop the bed thing and change the filter. Then I see my coffee on the counter and slap it in the microwave. Then I wipe down the microwave, then the stovetop, then the kitchen table. I hear the microwave ‘ding,’ think it’s my phone, go looking for it, only to find it on the end table, so I finish the bed. Works every time and destroys unwanted linear thinking, a good practice for a Virgo.

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