Monday, July 28, 2008

Say what you mean

It's Monday.

It's Monday at 7:46am.

It's Monday at 7:46am and I'm reading commercial leases. Have you ever read a commercial lease? My sympathy if you have. It's brutal. The first heretofore and thereafters I come across, my mind is off wandering in the Elysian fields, dancing with the dryads, having tea with Persephone.

But this is what I do. I read leases. Not because I want to, but because they're paying me for it.

The language of the lease is an interesting thing. For a document designed to set in stone the terms, rights and obligations of 2 or more parties, the complete lack of clarity is both disheartening and disconcerting. Would it not be too much to ask for someone to write: if you let me use your 1300 square feet, I will pay you the following amount monthly, let's say $18/sf. I will take care not to damage it. If the inside breaks, I'll fix it. If the outside breaks you fix it. If this works well we'll do it again in a few years. Right there I've covered the lease amounts, the responsibilities for each party and the option to renew.

I didn't use a single hitherto.... I know somewhere out there some lawyer's going to read this and say: "Crap, heretofore and thereafter, this man or men is on to, around, in on, over and above and thereafter all prepositions, us (by us we mean in no way any of the members of this cotillion that could be construed as a conspiracy, grouping or get together), therefore, and heretofore thereafter for the duration of reasonable longevity, we should (by should conferring no obligation to the reader, listener or all other affected parties) endeavor (by endeavour meaning attempt or try but conveying no actual responsibility for any who have endeavoured to attempt) to (by to, meaning... well to) get him (by get him meaning to dispose of, but heretofore and thereafter accepting no legal limitations or responsibilities for any and all parties previously, presently or futuristically involved or not involved in any "getting" of him).

I also think it would be fun (where fun means significantly better (where significantly better implies a degree of "betterness" heretofore... crap... its catching... sorry)) if they had someone like Stephen King or Tom Clancy write these leases. "The Lease" By Stephen King has a ring to it.

A Pox Upon Leases

A pox upon leases and the language they use
To read it is surely intellectual abuse;
(Like reading this poem, no doubt some will say
To them I say "Screw you! Please go away!")

The language is garbage, some serious midden;
And you know inside it some bad stuff is hidden.
In signing a piece, or this document whole,
You may find you've signed away your sole.

But don't worry at all, cause a sole's just a fish
If you gave that away, why its just one dish!
It's not like you gave away turkey or ham
It's just one supper, just have PB & Jam.

So hereafter I accept no legal tender
For the above written poem I tried to render;
The reader's responsible for the use of his* eyes
Ah ha! I fooled you! This was a lease in disguise!

*Unless otherwise specified, words importing the singular include the plural and vice versa and words importing gender include all genders.


Tanya said...

Bill, thank you thank you thank you! You make reading fun.

Laura said...

Having had to type a few of those leases I say -- You are so right!!! So sad you had to start off Monday morning with Hereto and therefore and aformentioned!

PrincessButtercup said...

If I read your blog and I like it I will comment, because only you, MrBill (I like calling you that because you truly make me feel like I am getting some kind of post secondary edumacation every time I read a blog from you) can make me understand certain things and alos ponder them myself. Thank you very much for adding synapses to my brain, vocabulary to my world and enjoyment to my bowl of cereal.

Wyndsong said...

LOL....uuuuhhhhmmmm What are we talking about?

You are funny...I get a kick outa reading yer stuff....

You make every day boring crud so much more fun.

Have a good one, I will see you bright and early tomorrow morning.