songs from the south

Today's "experience of the day":

Went into the local BigNameBookstore to buy Coraline as a pressie for a kid I know. This is (not verbatim, of course) what followed:

Me: Umm...I'm trying to find Neil Gaiman's Coraline. Would it be in the Young Readers section or with the rest of the fiction and literature?

Bookstore person (BSP): Never heard of it. Who did you say it was by?

Me: Neil Gaiman? He writes comic books and wrote Anansi Boys and Fragile Things?

BSP: Oh, you mean like what-they-call-it...manga?

Me: No, it's not that. It's a proper book* with illustrations. It's supposed to be for older children...younger than teenagers...

BSP: I know people read those. But, I've never let my children...Maybe you could get her one of these? These are very good stories...(points towards books that are filed under "empowering girls" and seem to feature a lot of pink covers)

Me: No, thank you. I am not too keen on empowering her.

During all this, we've both been looking through the shelves. I actually find Coraline in the young adult section and pull it out.

BSP: Oh, it's Caroline! Why didn't you say so before? It's pronounced "Ca-ro-line"

Me: Coraline.

BSP: Well, I'm from Texas. There, we call it Caroline.

* Ah, disciplinary power! As soon as she said "manga" *sneer*, I automatically defended the book by calling it "proper". Didn't even think, really.

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