This subtle malaphor is a mash up of “behind the 8 ball” (in trouble) and “under the gun” (under pressure). Both idioms are very similar in meaning. The context was facing a deadline, so the speaker probably meant under the gun. The words behind and under are similar in indicating location, which I think adds to the mix up. Many thanks to Senior Malaphor Hunter Mike Kovacs (note the title in caps).
Okay. Yes, this was actually unintentionally said on the Maury show last week. Husband was being accused of kissing his wife’s girlfriend and having an affair behind her back. The husband denied the accusation and said this malaphor about his wife to Maury. This is a mash up of “smoking gun” (indisputable sign of guilt) and “what have you been smoking?” (rhetorical question implying that the person is acting strange). There may be a freudian element here, as the husband might be admitting guilt through the use of a malaphor. Or maybe I am reading into this more than I should. A big thank you to John Hatfield for hearing this one!
A big thank you to Meesy for sending this one to me. She stated that her husband lectured her daughter that “life is not all guns and roses”. This is a mash up of “a bed of roses” (a peaceful and easy life), “days of wine and roses” (prosperous and happy time) and the band Guns N’ Roses. The statement on its face might not be correct these days considering there are an estimated 875 million guns in the world (with about 275 million of them in the United States). Welcome to the jungle.