One of the things that makes Prince Edward Island unique is the sense of pride Islanders have in their communities. That pride can take many forms, ranging from pride in the accomplishments of individuals or teams to great satisfaction in a community's appearance and history.
It can also take the form of pride in a community's reputation, and in those cases, certain individuals - let's call them gentle Rambo guardians - make it a point to protect their community's honour from any perceived slight. It's as if because something happens to one member of the area, the whole community's pride suffers.
Over the years, many complaints have come into The Guardian from people upset that an individual who has run afoul of the law has had his or her name appear in the paper with the wrong address, or at least not a specific enough address.
For example, if someone from the St. Peter's area sullies his or her reputation, it's important that only one community has to bear the burden of guilt, not the whole area. So it needs to be pointed out whether the person is from St. Peter's, West St. Peter's or St. Peter's Harbour.
It would be the same for an area like Bedeque, since someone could be from Bedeque, Central Bedeque, North Bedeque or far off Lower Bedeque.
The Rustico area on the north shore and its many similarly named communities is another geographic nightmare in terms of knowing exactly where you are. In addition to Rustico, there's also North Rustico (fondly referred to as The Crick), Anglo Rustico, Rusticoville and Rustico Harbour.
And, the truth be known, there's not a whole lot of real estate separating the communities, so it's easy for an outsider to become confused.
In fact, it seems you can actually live in that area of the province and not really be a resident. At least that's the opinion of one Guardian reader.
A court case is currently working its way through the justice system involving people charged with a string of break and enters on the north shore. We have been covering the cases and have identified two of the people as being from Rusticoville. And, according to court documents, that's where they live. The third person involved in the breaks is from the Charlottetown area.
After our first court story appeared in print, a reader contacted us to point out that the couple weren't actually from Rusticoville since they had just moved into the area a short while ago. The reader said it would have been more accurate to say they were "from away."
I'd run a clarification if I knew where "from away" was, or could come up with a suitable name for a sixth area of Rustico.
A FROSTY MEMORY
It's too cold to be serious so I'll continue being a bit silly. This week's chilly weather brought back an old cold-weather memory and an embarrassing one at that. It happened in Tyne Valley and I wasn't very old, although I was old enough to feel like a fool at the time.
Someone dared me to put my tongue on a frosty metal pipe.
Thinking back, it's hard to believe anyone would accept such a dare, but I did and I vividly recall that the pipe was the winner in the tug of war. That feeling of total helplessness, awkwardness and embarrassment has stayed with me many decades later.
I suspect physics hasn't changed much since my experiment so my advice is this: don't put your tongue on metal pipes unless it's above freezing. In fact, keep your tongue off metal pipes period. You never know whose tongue has been on them.
Gary MacDougall is managing editor of The Guardian. He can be reached by telephone at (902) 629-6039; by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or on Twitter @GaryGuardian.