"What time are you picking me up for the orthodontist?"
"A quarter to 9. Your appointment's at 9."
"Does anyone SAY that? 'A quarter to'? What is that, like 8:45? Why don't you just say '8:45'?"
Fiddlin' Writer confirms that her sons also ride her about "a quarter to" and "a quarter after". Apparently you have to have a mental visual of an analog clock to have that make sense.
Sonny, bring me my pills. And hush, I don't want to miss my stories.