Reading a landscape maintenance contract is somewhat akin to reading the Yellow Pages.

Remember those? They are basically a montage of several landscape contracts that were plagiarized and mixed together to make one super-duper landscape contract that can then be sent out to the potential bidders: us, the landscapers. We are only known as the bidders, though, and that just sets the tone for what is to follow.

Some of the more interesting items I have found when actually reading one of these lemon-colored behemoths is the specification to trim the palm trees. You see, I live in Cleveland, and the last time I looked the only palm trees we have here exist in our vacation pictures.

Another good ad was encouraging me to hire someone to rake my beach sand. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.

So I thought it was a good time for some comic relief. I mean, we all have been really busy lately. Here are some contractual specifications I just received for a commercial landscape maintenance job. I will give you the specification as written and then add my comic interpretation of what our clients are thinking when they see these contractual terms. Enjoy.

Spring Clean Up: Anything that looks bad on our property within the spring months (including but not limited to the dog poo that accumulated over the winter months) is the responsibility of the landscapers – even the tire ruts made by the guy that can’t seem to find his driveway.

Litter and Debris Clean Up: We are just way too lazy to pick up our own trash so we figure that the landscapers should do it. Also, we already asked the chimney sweep and he said, “No.”

Turf Mowing and Trimming: You better make sure that you don’t go racing around my property on those big mowers. Also, if you don’t cut my lawn on a Friday, the penalty is death.

Fertilization: The turf better look like a fairway or else.

Pruning and Shrub Trimming: We know we don’t know a thing about proper horticultural pruning, but we are going to tell you how to trim our shrubs anyway because we saw a video once on YouTube and now we are supreme shrub trimming beings.

Weed Control: We better not see even one microscopic weed anywhere on this 250-acre property, so help you.

Debris Collection and Removal: We thought it would be a good idea to just rub the whole litter and debris thing in your face a little more for good measure.

Fall Leaf Cleanup: We don’t care if you spend all day here and get 16 tons of leaves off of this property, we want the leaves gone. If the wind blows just one leaf here after you leave (pun intended), you will get phone calls – lots of phone calls.

Document Post Maintenance with Picture: We don’t believe that you will actually show up and do the work, so we are making you take pictures because you don’t have enough to do already.