Dear Lois Terms: My friend, Rosie, and I got into an argument over a limbo contest. We were using her broom for the limbo stick. Rosie claimed she won the contest because she went under the broom, I mean bar, at 15 and 7/16 inches. I say I won because I went under the bar at 15 and 5/8 inches. After all, 5 and 8 are lower numbers than 7 and 16. Rosie took her broom and went home. Since you are a limbo champ as well as a math consultant, I thought you might help us settle this argument. ---Miffed in Missouri

Dear Miffed: Sorry, but Rosie wins on two counts. One, the bar was lower when she went under it. Two, she knows how to compare fractions. If you change 5/8 and 7/16 to fractions with the same denominator, you will see that 5/8 really is more than 7/16.

Give Rosie a call and apologize. Winning back a friend beats winning a limbo contest any day.

Hi Ya, Lois! I'm a real animal freak. Like I mean I like real unusual animals. I have a gila monster and a spider monkey for pets. I used to have a boa constrictor, but one day my mom clobbered it with the vacuum cleaner when it crawled out from under my bed. Do you have any pets?------------ Animal Lover

Dear Animal Lover: Yes, I have two pets, but of the more ordinary kind. I have a little dog named G.C.F. and a gold fish named L.C.M. G.C.F. is 3/8 beagle + 1/4 cocker spaniel + 1/8 poodle + X. The "X" stands for the part of him I'm not sure about. L.C.M. enjoys swimming under the oriental bridge in his bowl. I guess you could say he takes after his owner.

Dear Ms. Terms: What is the answer to 7 X 8? I have a terrible time remembering it. My dad says I would forget my last name if it wasn't written down. ---------- Roger Dun...uh...uh, oh, never mind

P.S. Please hurry. I have a math test next period.

Dear Rog: 7 X 8 is not hard to remember. It's as easy as 5, 6, 7, 8. Just write down those four numbers and arrange the signs like this:

5 6 = 7 x 8

"Five! Six! Seven! Eight!

Who do we appreciate?

Fifty-six! Fifty-six! Fifty-six!"

Dear Lois: What can I do to get this boy to notice me? His locker is next to mine, and he is absolutely divine. I've tried everything. Yesterday, I dropped all my books on the floor right in front of his locker. All he did was trip over my English book and kick it into Mr. Parton's room. By the time I got all my books picked up, I was late for French class and got detention. Help! ------------Locked Out of His Life

Hey Listen Locked Out: This is a math column, not a lonely-hearts column!