I was trying to find the equivalent of ‘voor een dubbeltje op de eerste rang’ which means wanting to sit in the good (front-row) seats but only paying for the balcony. Or ‘the gods’ as the top balcony is called where the seats are cheapest. Sometimes, when you come across idioms like this in a text, and there’s no real equivalent, you just have to translate the meaning. But sometimes, when the writer of the source text is being particularly creative, there’s a sequel to the idiom which makes no sense unless you were able to translate it with an idiom. In this case, the author followed it up with ‘you’ll end up at the back of the queue’. The closest I came was ‘if you want to have your cake and eat it, you’ll end up at the back of the queue at the baker’s’ which was rubbish! Particularly since the author of the source text was actually talking about COVID-19 vaccines at the time.

I had to admit failure with this one, as far as finding fitting idioms was concerned. Suggestions on a postcard or in the comments.

Treat to yourself to a whole list of fun English idioms through the link in the first comment and stay cool even though it’s really, really hot!