14 June 2012

Summertime and the Living is Killing Me

It isn't even officially summer yet and I'm dying from the heat. Not literally, but it seems likely I could succumb any moment. The heat index has soared into the 90's already where I live and people are getting cranky. It isn't pretty.


It's a fact that more crimes are connected to heat than any other weather -- while suicides occur more with rainy seasons. Personally, I like a rainy night (and day), so I don't understand that part, but my address doesn't get that much rain.


Crime rates interest me. Is there a reason for spikes and times of lower criminal activities due to a high thermostat rating? According to many experts, crime rates are higher in the Southern states where the temps rise higher and higher like notes in Mariah Carey song that don't seem possible.


Human behavior is studied, incarcerated prisoners are interviewed and police officers are questioned for their take on the dilemma in search for answers. If only we could encase the Earth beneath a huge glass globe like Superman's Metropolis and regulate the weather. I think it would be a great discovery if someone could figure out how to do this. Imagine the possibilities. No more worrying about global warming.


In the meantime, we can only spend so much time near a pool, lake or ocean to cool down. Too much sun is another problem with situating ourselves at some sort of water park for the duration of the too-hot-to-breathe weather. If you've ever had a bad sunburn, you understand the grouchiness that accompanies that scenario, too. Are there no answers?


I think I may have this one solved.


I am suggesting the public take a mandatory break during the heat of the day. If it were a national proclamation, it'd be like a daily mini-vacation without having to pay anything extra for gasoline although snacks might corrupt the budget a little. If doing this cut down on crime, think of the money law enforcement could save. In that case, the government could afford to pay us (or provide a nice tax break or something) to stop and rest while it's scorching outside. I'm sure some would use the time to take a siesta, do another load of laundry or write one more chapter on that Great American Novel. But for those who wouldn't be interested in any of that, how about just sitting down and spending some time reading.


That suggestion comes with an interesting caveat: I'd want everyone to choose a (gasp!) mystery which probably includes a crime.

10 comments:

Leigh Lundin said...

My good friend Micheline ran a department in a large Paris hospital during one terrible summer. The death toll was in the thousands, inconceivable in a modern city.

Another factor is the economy. When times are good, crime drops and vice versa. There's no winning, Deborah.

David Dean said...

I would agree with the heat factor and crime. However, the crime rate has continued to go down during this current recession (or whatever it is).

Elizabeth Zelvin said...

Deborah, reading to combat the heat isn't quite free, since there's a big difference between reading in an air-conditioned room that generates higher electric bills and one that's stiflingly hot. Otherwise, good idea. :) Or combine water and reading by (OK, here comes the BSP) picking up a beach read like my mystery, DEATH WILL EXTEND YOUR VACATION. Where I spend the summers on Long Island (without air conditioning), sometimes the only place to stay cool is by (or in) the ocean.

Dale Andrews said...

Suggested reading: "August Heat," by W. F. Harvey. The story is now 102 years old and continues to resonate when it is 102 in the shade!

Anonymous said...

Now I know why I feel like killing my husband! Normally he's a good guy but in recent days everything gets on my nerves.

Herschel Cozine said...

Anonymous--you picked the right name for your post. Now every husband who reads this will be looking over his shoulder.

Deborah Elliott-Upton said...

When I started researching that had "Heat" in the titles, I was astounded at how many were out there. BODY HEAT is pretty hot!

Kate Irving said...

I can't imagine committing a crime in the heat. Extreme heat makes me tired and lazy. I might take a nap and dream of a crime I could commit perhaps in late autumn.

Kerry said...

I have wondered if those places that shut down during the warmer parts of the day for a bit of siesta time experienced the same increase in crime rate.

Great post!

Dixon Hill said...

Deborah, you just hit on the reason why I spend much of my summers smoking a cigar in the pool. A laptop on the cool deck helps a lot too!