This all felt a bit much for a time of year when the most stressful thing I normally face is 'working out if I can fit in a fifth mince pie', or whether it's best to leave it at four.

I'm confused with this sentence because of the words 'work out' and 'fit in'. The author got a notice letter of 'violation fine' from Transport Service and she's very frustrated and upset and especially because it was Christmas Season. I can feel that she wanted to express her feeling in humorous way, but I'm not sure about details.

Does she mean that working out (figuring out?) if she can fit in (go well with) fifth pie or just have four pies? is it like expression that couple break up or something?

1 Answer 1


Working out is figuring out, as you say. But you need the other definition of fit in: (Definition 2)

Find room or have sufficient space for someone or something.

She is feeling cross because the violation fine came during the Christmas season, which is usually a stress-free time of year. Normally her biggest worry at this time of year is about whether or not there is room in her tummy for another mince pie. [In other words, an utterly negligible worry!]

She implies she is greedy. It's amusing. And it's nothing to do with a couple breaking up :-)

By the way, mince pies - if you haven't met them - are here.

  • You are amazing. Thank you very much for the kind explanation :-)
    – leo
    Dec 4, 2021 at 10:14
  • There might be an additional play on words as she needs to work out to burn off the calories she has ingested in the mince pies.
    – mdewey
    Dec 4, 2021 at 14:50
  • 1
    Across the pond, I interpreted it initially as whether she could fit in making another mince pie into her baking season... A mince pie to the US is usually a full pie meant to be shared. Although we'd call it a mincemeat pie. FWIW, I think your interpretation is correct.
    – rrauenza
    Dec 4, 2021 at 17:55
  • @rrauenza: Ah yeah. I see how it could work like that. I found myself reading the Wiki article I linked to and I'm thinking of making one of them there pies with beef in. This recipe maybe? Dec 4, 2021 at 22:14
  • @OldBrixtonian I've never tried one with beef. Most common are the fruit ones.
    – rrauenza
    Dec 6, 2021 at 5:14

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