VARINA, Va. — After a summer of brutal heat, Rod Tinsley of Varina is eagerly awaiting the day he can stop complaining about the hot weather and begin criticizing a cooler climate.
Tinsley, 49, is that rare breed of curmudgeon that complains about the weather no matter what form it takes. Surprisingly, his desire for cooler temperatures isn’t all about the weather.
“There’s one thing I find difficult about a heat wave,” Tinsley said. “After so many hot days, I’ve already burned right through all the good cliches, no pun intended. Hotter than the Devil’s armpit. So hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk. Ninety degrees in the shade. After a while, you’re left with nothing.”
While it’s often said that nobody likes a complainer, Tinsley hopes that colder weather will bring him more allies.
“See, most people prefer warm weather over cooler weather,” Tinsley stated. “So when I complain about the cooler temperatures, all of a sudden I’ve got more people who agree with me. I’ll be honest, I tend to walk a little taller.”
If it’s fraternity Tinsley is looking for, he would be hard-pressed to find it at Menzies and Negron, the accounting firm where he’s worked for the past 12 years. Co-worker Justin Judd said that the constant bellyaching was the reason Tinsley was bestowed with the nickname “Lightning Rod.”
“It’s what he does best,” Judd said. “If it’s warm, he wants to know when it’s going to be cooler. If it’s cold, when are things warming up? When’s it going to rain? When’s it going to stop raining? The weather may change, but it doesn’t stop old Lightning Rod.”
As cooler temperatures become more prevalent, it’s a safe bet that Tinsley will opt for ridicule and sarcasm over pleasure and enjoyment.
“This may surprise you, but I’ve never been much of an outdoorsman,” Tinsley admitted. “I prefer the indoors. Whether it’s the library or the local Starbucks, I’ll take climate-control over climate change every time.”