Today I went on some errands, one of which involved a trip to the RE Store in Ballard for some reclaimed wood bits to use in making the door and fireplace frame. I found some lovely bits of lath that looked nice and aged (perfect because he used boards from the railroad worker’s shanty to make the door, so they would have been weathered and well-worn). They were all bundled together, though, because they matched, and there was much more than I needed, and more than would fit in the car (some bits were really long).
So I found a nice guy who worked there and asked him if I had to buy a whole bundle of lath if the bits were tied together, or if I could just take what I needed, and he said I could take what I needed and leave the rest. So I went and got a few smaller strips and went back to the front to pay.
He came to the counter to help me, glanced at the strips I had, and said “A quarter…”. I figured perhaps he meant that I had taken a quarter of the bundle, and got out my wallet and debit card while I waited for him to ring me up.
There was a long pause.
I smiled encouragingly, as if to say “Yes, I’ve taken a quarter of the bundle” thinking perhaps he had meant his statement as more of a question, but not sure enough to try and answer out loud.
The pause continued a little longer, then he said, more emphatically this time: “A quarter.”
Then I got it, and replied “Oh! You mean, like, an ACTUAL QUARTER. Sorry!” and proceeded to grab my change purse and carefully hand him one quarter, which he dropped into a cup on the counter.
And that’s how I learned that six feet of used lath at the RE Store costs 25 cents.