a bed of nails

a bed of nails

Something painful, challenging, or unpleasant. This project is a bed of nails—it's just so tedious. My family members are constantly arguing, so spending time with them can be a bed of nails.
See also: bed, nail, of

a bed of nails

a problematic or uncomfortable situation.
A bed of nails was originally a board with nails pointing out of it, lain on by Eastern fakirs and ascetics.
See also: bed, nail, of
References in periodicals archive ?
Well not exactly a bed of nails. More like a mini mattress with a lot of plastic spikes on it.
I attended that event (which featured Bob, nude, lying on a bed of nails), and the next day the three of us reconvened in the hospital-room installation, where we talked (interrupted each time Bob was hoisted, upside down and naked, to the ceiling) until the tape in my portable tape recorder ran out.
The reaction I'm most surprised at when I get lifted up in the air by my ankles, or when I lie on a bed of nails, like at my birthday party, is that people break into tears.