My wife and I are in a nationally branded bookstore over our lunch hour, just picking up a hot chocolate. Amy wants to go to the children's book section to look for the availability of a certain book for one of our kids.
I meet her up there, beverage in hand. She's thumbing through the book.
"It drives me crazy," she notes, "that every time someone speaks in this author's books, it's always 'said,' 'said,' said.' Never anything else."
"That's one of the hardest things," I muse. "Coming up with other words besides 'said.'"
"Well, at least the child learns that word really quickly," she concedes. "They've seen it a thousand times."
"I struggle with finding options to 'said' in my own writing all the time," I offer. We're headed down the escalator now. "Luckily, I've found one that works better."
"What's that?" she asks.
She body-blocks me into the elevator rail.
"Hey, careful with the hot chocolate!" I warn.
"Let me know if you want some," she says.
Long pause. And then I say:
"The hot chocolate, right?"