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This Public Service Announcement Was Brought To You By A Polish Grandmother

[Roxanne will be appearing at The Beguiling for Free Comic Book Day, Saturday, May 5, 12-3 p.m. Torontoist will also have some coverage of the event closer to the day.—Ed.]


  • Marc Lostracco

    In the 80s, when asymmetrical hairstyles were the cat’s ass, my sister used to get told by concerned older people all the time that her hair was shorter on one side and asked if she knew that.
    I was one of the first people in my neck of the woods to have a pierced ear, and I used to get approached by strangers who demanded to know what that signified. I even offended some old guy at a friend’s wedding by wearing a kippa when I had pierced ears—even though my intention was meant to be a sign of respect and deference in the first place!
    I can’t even imagine going up to a complete stranger and expressing my disapproval about their appearance right to their face, as friendly (read: passive-aggressive) as it may seem.

  • Roxanne Bielskis

    I know! It’s par for the course when I go anywhere on Roncesvalles to have people of any age walk up to me and speak Polish, but this time I was caught by a sincerely panicked bubbi just walking up and patting my hair. Amazing.

  • David Topping

    You comment every week on this comic (or some other post) with some bullshit rude remark. We publish like fifty posts a week, and this is one of them. If you’re not a fan of the comic, skip it. If you’re not a fan of Torontoist, don’t read us. Or, if you actually have something legitimate to say beyond a groan, you’re welcome to contribute that. But if you’re going to keep being a dick, I’ll simply start deleting your comments and encourage the staff to do the same. Gothamist’s comment policy is pretty straightforward, and I’d suggest you read it.
    My e-mail address is You’re more than welcome — as is every other reader of Torontoist — to send me a message if you have complaints.

  • GH

    I think that threat to Matty would, on my understanding of threat, constitute a “threat” and fall under “Bad Comments”. Its also negative and may verge on profanity/insult in calling him a dick. You encourage this type of post by making it public and because it comes from an editor and not contacting him directly. I fully expect a defence of your comment, as you may be the most defensive of Torontoist posters.

  • Stephanie Hart

    This kind of reminds me of the time I bought a German-English dictionary. When I payed the cashier (after exchanging the requisite pleasantries), she told me that she didn’t know why I was buying it, as she thought my English was “excellent”.
    (I’m also spoken to in Polish on Roncesvalles quite regularly.)

  • Marc Lostracco

    GH: We’ve deleted many of “matty’s” comments, and he posts them again or writes new ones—all anonymously, of course. Often, his comments are things like, “you people are such fags,” and the like, and we reserve the right to delete jackass comments at our full discretion. Since he takes the cowardly route by supplying a fake address, this is how he gets told in case he has actually has something valuable to say at some point. No big deal.

  • matty

    I thought toronto supported a diversity of opinions. also i dare you to find a malicious comment i have ever made here.

  • David Topping

    I prepared a really long response to GH’s comment, but it was sadly lost.
    In addition to what Marc has said, citing Gothamist’s Comment Policy to discount my comment is not really going to get us anywhere, as it’s my (and Marc’s) job to enforce that very comment policy. When I can contact users privately, I do. Almost always (and as Gothamist’s comment policy explains), negative commenters hide behind anonymity, so there’s not much that I can do beyond encouraging people to e-mail me. We have and will continue to moderate comments that violate the aforementioned policy.
    Now, let’s not continue to pollute Roxanne’s comic with bickering about this.

  • Carly Beath

    The comic and Stephanie’s comment remind me of a few months ago, when I was standing at a streetcar stop with my boyfriend. An elderly Chinese lady came up to me and started speaking to me in Cantonese. I could tell by her inflections that she was asking me questions, but I had no idea what she was saying. It was about three minutes of me looking extremely confused before she turned to my boyfriend and said in Cantonese, “Oh, she’s not Chinese, is she!?” He told her that I’m Scottish/Irish/French Canadian.

  • matty

    ok fine it’s a cute comic. it’s so homely and quite i am not used to it. i will refrain from slagging any longer.
    oddly i live in chicago, not toronto. so maybe i just don’t get it.

  • Jonathan

    Carly, for some reason your post instantly reminded me of the moment in Seinfeld where Estelle Costanza meets Jerry’s girlfriend after getting advice from her on the phone and she yells out “You’re not Chinese! I thought I was getting advice from a Chinese woman!”
    I had a woman come up and ask me a question in what I assumed was Chinese at Yonge and Dundas. The only thing I could make out was, ironically, “Chinatown”. Eventually I figured out she was didn’t know what side of the street to get the streetcar from to go to Chinatown.

  • Steph


  • Gloria

    I’ve had my hair touched by random people before too. One person thought it was a wig, part of my Halloween costume, and the other (who was my friend’s mom, so not too strange) simply liked it, apparently. A little weird and off-putting.

  • Roxanne Bielskis

    My mom’s best friend usually has long braided extensions. We went to St. Jacobs for an afternoon once and three people (in one afternoon!) came up to her and just patted her hair. They meant it to be complimentary, but geez! She said it happens all the time.

  • Marc Lostracco

    I was in an area of eastern Africa where they don’t see that many pink people, like myself. I had short buzzed hair and it’s very fine and soft, and a lot of younger people kept coming up and touching my hair and skin and then running away, giggling. It was off-puttting at first, but I soon came to find it charming (and fascinating).

  • David

    Matty, you’re not even from Toronto? Why not bother the Chicago Sun-Times? Yes, there is such a thing as a “diversity of opinions”, but it’s not like Roxanne’s presenting some weighty social issue begging for public debate.
    The Torontoist moderators are simply trying to keep a friendly positive vibe on their blog. And they have every right to do so. There are plenty of places online if you want to be a jerk. You’ve already made your opinion clear about Rox’s work, week after week after week… (I mean, seriously, excessive much?) Do you have to continually harp on it? Especially since, Roxanne’s comic is the reason I visit this blog!
    Would you like me to go to your place of work, stand over your shoulder, and hand you little post-its all day that say *GROAN*? :) Do you really want to be that kind of person?

  • Noz

    Hee hee! Awesome.
    Lo thinks it’s awesome too.
    Ps – Matty, we also both think you’re a wang.