be on one's ass


Senior Member
Hi, everybody,
Could you please help to interpret a difficulty in the novel by Adrian McKinty "Fifty Grand". A man is tempted to light up and try some dope he found. But he has an important task to finish first.

It would be very tempting to light it up, but I should probably save that for after. One of those and I’d be on my ass for hours.

I guess he means he does not want to be unsure of his actions after tasting the drug, to avoid unwanted reflection. I am trying to interpret "to be on someone's ass" as "to follow, chase, watch someone" though I am not sure this is correct.
  • Biddlesby

    Senior Member
    English (Brit.)
    If you are (sitting about) on your ass, it means that you are being lazy and doing nothing whatsoever. Literally, you're just sitting down.

    If---for example in a business context---somebody is on your ass it means that he is hassling you and won't leave you alone. But, crucially, you can't be on your own ass in this way!

    So the first interpretation is correct. If he takes the dope, he will sit around doing nothing and so couldn't finish his task.
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