We often get annoyed when people say things that appear so obvious as to seem insulting. I think my saying that when it is hot things get hot, things get hotter, may seem like one of those foolish statements.

But sometimes even things that sound foolish are true. Even wise. Many things do seem to accompany streaks of very hot weather. And now almost everywhere is hot.

Oh, there are of course the forest fires that now have come closer and closer even wiping out communities. These fires cause such death and destruction not to mention their huge costs.

If the fires were the only effect of hot weather it would be enough to make me worry about climate change. But of course they are not, because most things in this world have a trickle down effect. Roads get closed, traffic causes accidents, accidents cause injury and death, that affects our medical care and insurance costs.

While services are busy taking care of hot-weather related problems, your normal emergency may take much longer to get to, or help may not even come in time. When fire department crews are called out to help fight forest fires there is less help in your own community if an emergency occurs.

Shortages can easily fall upon areas which are cut off due to weather. Ah, and water shortages, that can hit all of us, or how about electrical outages when we try to stay cooler in the heat and the grid blows?

How about the people, many who are aged and more susceptible to changes in weather, who have no air conditioning or are not able to afford it. Imagine being homeless in this heat. Heat stroke is a horrible way to die.

 But, there are other less obvious effects from extreme heat. Cars caught up in traffic can overheat, even stall out. Then horns start honking, tempers start rising and suddenly complete strangers can be victims of road rage.

Some of the worst riots I have ever seen in our country have occurred during severe hot weather. I lived in Detroit and also near Watts during their hot summers and saw cause and effect.

All of us have seen this in the past few years because so many people seem to be constantly steaming. No matter what the temperature is outside. That makes for a lot of human kindling ready to ignite.

The most dangerous hot things nowadays are ourselves, and this current heat wave is stirring up trouble in unforeseen places. People who study victims of domestic violence and crime can tell you that numbers go up with the temperature.

The expression “stay cool” infers calm, while when you are upset they say, “cool down,” or “don’t get so heated up.”

Maybe we all need a little body bell on us that goes off when we get too hot-headed or just too hot. Might spare a lot of fights, car accidents and crimes…even murders. In my family and circle of life friends there have been several murders and rapes, all in very hot weather. Coincidence? Maybe.

My mother’s answer to Michigan’s hot, humid weather was to get a tall glass of lemonade, a cool cloth to put on her head and lie down in a darkened room, and we were told to do the same. This hot weather has never done anyone any good except for people who sell fans or water. Best thing to do when it is hot is to try to avoid the heat altogether.

We played a lot in the evening or read. Maybe that is why I became such an avid reader. You don’t get overheated reading, unless it is a really good book.

These things I know to be true, most people get more easily agitated when they are hot (getting hot under the collar does not infer relaxation)

Agitated people often say things they shouldn’t or wouldn’t , and more than one kind of heat can cause different kinds of fires.

 So like I was saying at the beginning, things get hotter when it gets hot, so try to stay cool or at least learn to count to 20 when the heat rises.

Diana J. Ingram

Diana Ingram has been a columnist for Los Banos newspapers for four decades.