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December 12, 2018 10:20 AM   Subscribe

What is the pithy simile / metaphor / expression I'm trying to remember? It's when you're trying to make something adhere to or move through a process, but the thing and the process are fundamentally misaligned. It's not exactly "herding cats." More like, you're trying to make something slippery or liquid attach to a wall. Halp!
posted by Cool Papa Bell to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
trying to mix oil and water
trying to nail jello to a tree
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:20 AM on December 12, 2018 [7 favorites]


Throw spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks?
posted by teststrip at 10:21 AM on December 12, 2018


Stick a round peg in a square hole.

Throw shit against the wall and enough of it will stick.
posted by bondcliff at 10:23 AM on December 12, 2018


trying to nail jello to a tree

Boom, that's it. "Nail jello to a wall" is it. Thank you!

Good lord I was having a brain cramp.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:24 AM on December 12, 2018 [4 favorites]


Shoveling pingpong balls with a pitchfork
posted by unearthed at 10:25 AM on December 12, 2018 [2 favorites]


My aunt also uses "rolling a jelly up a hill" which I find very evocative.
posted by Cheese Monster at 1:14 PM on December 12, 2018 [1 favorite]


Trying to shovel smoke is another good one.
posted by qsysopr at 3:55 PM on December 12, 2018 [2 favorites]


Nailing jello is a good one, and I like the old line 'pushing a snake uphill.'
posted by BlueHorse at 4:59 PM on December 13, 2018


I heard “nailing soup to the wall” long ago, I think. Almost like the one you wanted.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 7:17 AM on December 14, 2018


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