This beauty was uttered by someone who was asked if he thought the Cowboys’ football coach, Jason Garrett, would be fired soon. It is a mashup of “on thin ice” (close to being in trouble) and “on a tight leash” (strict control over someone). The words “thin” and “tight” are close in sound and meaning. A big thanks to John Kooser who heard this one and passed it on!
This one was found on the website The Daily Kos. The writer was discussing how Nancy Pelosi controls the various House Subcommittees. This is a nice blend of “walking a tightrope” (to do something with extreme care and precision) and “on a tight leash” (under someone’s strict control). Both phrases have the word “tight” in them and “ropes” and “leashes” are similar items. Also, both phrases entail exactness and control. Here is the link to the malaphor: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/6/5/1862845/-NY-Offers-Chairman-Neal-Trump-s-Tax-Returns-Neal-Says-No-Thanks-Unbelievable
A tip of the hat to Barry Eigen who spotted this hidden creature in the word forest.