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Are there any phrases like "Couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery" or "Couldn't organise a root in a brothel" that are reasonably common, indicate organisational incompetence, have a degree of irony (as opposed to "Couldn't run a chook raffle", or answers to the more general question Is there a proverb or idiom describing incompetence?) and aren't vulgar?

Wiktionary suggests couldn't organise a bun fight in a bakery, and while it does appear in real life (example: Brisbane port ready for naval expansion), it doesn't appear to be common. Are there any that are non-vulgar and are more common?

Related, but not as specific in its requirements: Is there a proverb or idiom describing incompetence?

  • In case anyone's wondering: it's prompted by a real estate magnate reportedly not being able to book a hotel room. – Andrew Grimm Jul 9 '17 at 10:50
  • Possible duplicate of Is there a proverb or idiom describing incompetence? – NVZ Jul 9 '17 at 11:09
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    @NVZ "Couldn't hit water if they fell out of a boat." has the required level of irony, but isn't about organisational incompetence. The rest aren't ironic, or are vulgar. – Andrew Grimm Jul 9 '17 at 11:18
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    "Couldn't organize a two-car parade" is SFW. It could be varied to suit the incompetence, e.g., couldn't book a two-car parade. I myself sometimes use "Couldn't run a grocery cart in a supermarket." – Xanne Jul 10 '17 at 7:28
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    I don't swear so I use "couldn't organise a drinking session in a brewery" and it always went down alright. But this is my own invention. – RedSonja Jan 17 '18 at 11:31
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Wiktionary also suggests couldn't pour water out of a boot which does sound less vulgar that the others options.

Alternative form:

couldn't pour water out of a boot with the instructions on the heel.

(Synonym of couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery)

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"He couldn't organize his way out of a wet paper bag."

I am the organizer in my house, but I am also the breadwinner, so my husband does the schooling. He couldn't organize his way out of a wet paper bag without a manual. (I love him, but he is the archeotype of an artist)

http://www.time4learning.net/forum/kindergarten-through-third-grade/feeling-overwhelming-urge-homeschool-22052/#post62678

It's obviously a bit casual, but if you Google "organize""out of a wet paper bag", you find countless examples buried in forums and video comments.

Good afternoon, please could someone help me with this phrase? I cannot understand its meaning.

Entrepreneurs are obsessed with freedom... and have an enormous work ethic," she says. But she concedes: "We couldn't organise ourselves out of a paper bag!"

discussion here - https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/out-of-a-paper-bag.28317/

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