I’m not sure that’s the correct spelling. Hell, I’m not even sure it’s even a word!


I’ve never played it in Scrabble, and I’m pretty sure I’d be challenged if I did. Too bad; with an “f”, “y”, “b”, and two “m’s” the score would be sweet.


This is word my mom uses. She may have invented it.

“I’ve told you fitty-lebmm times not to fan that screen door!”

“I can give you fitty-lebmm reasons why that’s not a good idea.”

“There were fitty-lebmm people in line at the grocery store. I didn’t think I’d ever get home.”

You get the idea…and I get the idea every time…and the idea is usually accurate and wise, if a bit sketchy math-wise. It’s also a case of rampant exaggeration. The rampant exaggeration gene has happily passed on to her son. What’s the harm? It’s not like we’re runnin’ for president.

I remember when I was mastering the intricacies of math, I could never decide if fitty-lebmm equaled 5,011 or 550 (50 times 11). I do know that in new math it either equals “the artist formerly known as Prince” or “Thursday”. Again, what’s the harm? I don’t need any new math – I just got used to the old math.

In Richard Adams’ lovely book WATERSHIP DOWN, the rabbit protagonists, having only four digits, considered any quantity larger than four to be “five”. Ten years was five years. Fifty miles was five miles and five feet equaled a mile. Cute, but my mom’s word is better, if harder to spell; “fitty-lebmm”.

So…what dredged all this foolishness up?

I was late for a meeting today because I ran into a repaving project in Lexington. I’m here to tell you there are currently fitty-lebmm repaving projects happening in Lexington. I know. I’ve driven through every one of them.

I’m not really complaining. I like having smooth, safe roads to drive on……I do. But, do they all have to be in my path? What kind of schedule are they following?


I think I know the answer to that one.

The schedule is being determined by me. There are spies monitoring my movements and instructing the re-pavers where to be and when……it’s the Russians……no, wait, it’s the whistleblowers……no, no, wait, it’s Hillary’s emails AND Obama!


As a service to all my friends; if you want your street repaved, let me know the name of your street and when you want the work done. I will drive on your street that day and by the time you come home from work you will have bright, shining new asphalt awaiting your arrival.

FEEL the power!

You can thank me later – fitty-lebmm times.

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