"No problem," I said. "I can run to Home Depot and pick up paint stirrers. While I'm there, I'll replace the boards in our con-going bookcases that have seen many better days."
Gretchen thought this sounded like a good idea, so off I went. I grabbed the paint stirrers (free) and a paint can opening key (cheap and better than using a screwdriver). Then I headed off to the laminate shelving section.
What I needed were eight identical 24 inch boards. They did not have eight identical boards. I asked a fellow working the aisle if they had more somewhere and he told me that if they had them, they would be on display. The most they had of any given board was four, and only one set of four at that.
I headed to the cash register to pay for my fifty cent paint can key.
"Did you find everything you were looking for?" asked the cashier.
"Nope." And I told him that I'd been looking for eight identical boards and that they didn't have them.
"You should check on line. Just because they weren't on display, doesn't mean they aren't in the back."
"That would seem like a good idea, but the fellow that I asked said that there weren't any. And he didn't bother to check."
The cashier was suitably appalled and promised to report it. I promised to go to Menard's.
And so I did. Where I found eight identical boards, one of which was damaged. Not what I had in mind. So I found an employee and asked him about it.
"Hmm. I think we had a truck come in today." And a few minutes later, he came back with two more boards, fresh off the truck.
And thus I bought my eight boards from Menard's instead of Home Depot.
Home Depot is becoming increasingly frustrating in what they don't have in stock...