I just informed a friend that he has to watch American Idol with me this season, like it or lump it.
And then I was worried that he might choose “lump it,” because I am not entirely certain what “lump it” consists of as an option.
Then I realized that, in my head, “lump it” meant that one of us would end up with a bowl of oatmeal on his or her head. Because oatmeal has lumps, I guess? When I was a tiny person, my dad would feed me oatmeal by making a tidal wave out of it (this is a thing parents do to feed their children oatmeal? Maybe?) and I, apparently (because I do not remember because I was a tiny baby) used to snort the oatmeal lumps. Like how people who do blow might do a bump off their hand where the thumb meets the other fingers and if you drew a face on that part, you’d have Senor Wences — I would snort oatmeal lumps. Bumps of oatmeal lumps. Oatmeal lump bumps.
And then I secondarily realized that I was conflating “like it or lump it” with “eat it or wear it” from Judy Blume’s Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing in which Fudge dumps a bowl of cereal over his head.
So now I am sort of aware that “like it or lump it” does not mean that “lump it” implies dumping a bowl of oatmeal over one’s head, but I don’t think I’ll ever quite be able to separate that image from the phrase.
This is how my brain works! Aren’t you so glad you don’t live with neural pathways like these?