up to your ass in alligators

Beset by vexing problems or tasks.


The complete saying is “When you are up to your ass in alligators, it’s easy to forget you came to drain the swamp.” This phrase has political connotations, as Washington D.C. is quite literally and uncomfortably in a swamp. President Reagan spoke of draining the swamp of big government in 1983. Probably uttered by the same people who warn you not to screw the pooch.

Can you take on this project or are you up to your ass in alligators?

The douchebag who said this probably also said microcopy, Push the Envelope, or backchannel.