This is a mash up of “clear a hurdle” (overcome an obstacle) and I think “rivers to cross” , borrowed from the great Jimmy Cliff song “Many Rivers to Cross”, based on the context of the malaphor. “Crossed the Rubicon” (taken action with no return) also comes to mind. “Jumping through hoops” (to do extra things to get what you want) might also be in the mix, confusing hoops and hurdles. Thanks to Sam Edelmann for spotting this one!
Have I found the new “master”? Actress Cristin Milioti said the following to People magazine:
“The other day I was chatting with my boyfriend,” she told Theater Mania, “and I said to him, ‘He really sold him under the bus.’ And he said, ‘I think you meant “threw him under the bus,” or “sold him up the river.” ‘ … It’s a constant problem. On my first date, my boyfriend asked me if I wanted to eat a la carte, and I said that I would prefer to stay inside! It’s really embarrassing.”
Cristin, do NOT be embarrassed by this wonderful gift you have received. On the contrary, continue to utter your wonderful malaphors so I can share them with the world. “To err is human; to malaphor, divine.”