I Crush Children’s Dreams


Oh, hello!

Who’s this friendly fellow?

I was hoping you could tell me.

You know those flyers you get from landscaping companies? They get shoved in your door and inevitably fall off, littering your yard, so that more landscaping companies are attracted to your poor ugly lawn and stick more flyers in your door?

Usually I just pluck the flyer from the door (or yard) and think no more of it. I landscape my own yard, thanks anyway, altho my definition of landscaping may differ slightly from yours.

But yesterday Dave showed me a flyer he’d brought inside. The name of the company is unimportant. All you need to know is that their mascot is, apparently, that creature pictured at the top.

“Look at this. What the heck is that thing?”

I glanced at it, laughed for one second, and was ready to forget about it until Dave said, “You could blog about it.”

Suddenly it was the funniest thing in the world. I spent way too much time thinking about it. What was it? A turtle? A lizard? A frog? It’s a frog, right? But why a frog? What does a frog have to do with landscaping? Are his webbed feet especially good at picking up leaves? But why would that matter, if he’s got a leaf-blower? Seriously, if I call this company, is a giant frog going to appear at my door? The name of the company has nothing to do with frogs or lizards. There is simply no good reason for this creature to be pictured on a landscaping flyer.

I had troubling dreams that night about frogs and turtles overtaking my yard, first in their normal form and then walking on their hind legs and . . . smiling.

We were still talking about it the next day.

“It’s not clip art. Why would anyone make clip art of a reptile performing yardwork?”

“My theory is that the owner’s daughter drew this thing, and her dad was so proud he felt he had to use it as his company’s mascot.”


“And now you’re going to make fun of it on your blog.”

“Hmmm. Still, it’s better this kid finds out sooner rather than later. This is the way of the world. Draw a creepy frog-lizard, and people are going to make fun of it—and you—for the rest of your life.”

Am I right? You can’t draw something like this and expect to escape unscathed.

The only thing the flyer is lacking is a motto. If you can help me come up with an appropriate motto to connect the frog-creature to landscaping, maybe we can save this little girl’s psyche. Otherwise? I’m sorry, kiddo. Stick to lopsided hearts and crooked stars. Your mascot days are over.

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57 Responses to “I Crush Children’s Dreams”

  1. 1 Elle

    Oh, the sophisticated marketing ploys at work in our society! I love especially the S on the frog’s – chest? Not even a SHIRT? A tattooed frog with a leaf blower. Oh, yeah, you wanted a motto. Hmmmm

    Yard maintenance – we’ll leap to it!

    We’ll clean your yard faster than you can say “Ribbit!”

    Okay, maybe not.

    Elle’s last blog post..Four Foods on Friday – Pot Pourri

  2. 2 Susan

    I think it’s definitely a frog. He should be eating flies as he gathers leaves. A frog walking around with a leaf blower would naturally just eat flies and bugs as he landscaped, wouldn’t he? If a landscaper could take care of not only leaves but also flies and other bugs, I think I’d be more likely to call them.

    Susan’s last blog post..Indoor Gardening Isn’t Really My Thing

  3. 3 Jaffer


    You are brilliant.

    Jaffer’s last blog post..Positive thinking in life

  4. 4 Daisy the Curly Cat

    He’s a frog, definitely. I can tell by his open toad shoes.

    Daisy the Curly Cat’s last blog post..Sunday Comics with Daisy!

  5. 5 flit

    LOL @ Daisy’s comment

    I’m thinking those leaves on his feet are froggy-bunions and he should have them removed

  6. 6 Shawn

    Frog and Toad are Friends. Frog and Your Overgrown Yard are Enemies.

    Shawn’s last blog post..Five Ideas Hollywood Shamelessly Stole From Me

  7. 7 Juliet

    I agree with Susan. He’s landscaping and Terminex in one, you say? Oh, wait. I take that back. Terminex doesn’t actually WORK. Maybe Orkin Man then? I’ve never used that. Landscaping and Orkin Frog!

    Juliet’s last blog post..March Is Cruel

  8. 8 absepa

    “Call us–we’ll hop on over to take care of your pad.” Pretty lame, but the drawing is lame, too, so maybe it would work.

    Does the company name start with “s”? Is that why the frog has a letter on his chest? Or is he supposed to be SuperFrog? So many questions.

    absepa’s last blog post..I’m 38 going on 8…

  9. 9 babs - beetle

    Oh dear. These people that have absolutely no idea of what makes a good leaflet design should put their hand in their pocket a pay a designer to do it for them. There speaks a (retired) graphic designer!
    He probably ASKED his little girl (or boy) to design it for him!

    Ribbit, ribbit, ribbit, ribbit, ribbit!

    babs – beetle’s last blog post..Oooo-eeeeeeeh-ouch!

  10. 10 Tiggy

    Knowing how many frogs get chopped up by lawn mowers, I guess this landscape designer is trying to make amends with his amphibious victims. Probably on the orders of a sobbing young child.

    Tiggy’s last blog post..The Dreaded Office Greetings Card

  11. 11 Jeff

    I would challenge the leave blower concept and say it’s using a leaf vacuum. Plus it looks like his feet are vacuums too. Therefore the S on his chest must stand for “Suckies Lawn Service” and their motto is, “We suck so you don’t have to!”

    Jeff’s last blog post..Signs of Spring

  12. 12 Stephanie Barr

    Motto: If you’ll listen to lizards for car insurance, why not a frog for lawn care. After all, we’re GREEN.

    Whoops. that was so bad, by brain just left in disgust. Damn, I hope it comes back.

    Stephanie Barr’s last blog post..Saturday Quote-a-Thon: Bravery and Hope

  13. 13 Jay

    Aww …. he’s cute!!

    Maybe the landscaper is trying to let you know how ‘greeeen’ he is. You know, as in ‘environmentally and amphibianly friendly’?

    Landscaping with a hop, skip and a jump?

    There are no flies on us?

    We work in all weathers?


  14. 14 Kathy

    I don’t get it at ALL. A frog? I could see a bird or a bunny, you know, stuff you actually find in your yard. And why the leaf blower? That’s the last thing I think about for landscaping. And I’m with Jeff. It appears his feet are capable of sucking up leaves, especially his right foot. Oh, this is just too aggravating. Yes, the child who drew it must learn that that everyone will make fun of it, starting with your blog. It’s all downhill from there.

    Kathy’s last blog post..Overheard in an Elevator

  15. 15 JD

    Elle: I will reveal that the company’s name begins with “S,” but it’s not even a word—it might be an acronym, but whatever it is, it shouldn’t be tattooed on a frog. Great ideas! Um. They go perfectly with the drawing!

    Susan: You make an EXCELLENT point about eating flies. That makes much mores sense than a leaf blower. But if he can do both? Shoot, I’d call them too.

    Daisy the Curly Cat: Oh, Daisy! You slay me. I hope this creature didn’t scare you as much as that giant lizard who answered Harley’s “Leezard” call.

    flit: HA! Yes—who would really know WHAT a froggy bunion would look like? Perhaps I need to have a talk with him.

    Shawn: Heh. Good one. Now why didn’t they think of that?

    Juliet: I love “Orkin Frog.” I am definitely seeing some redeemable qualities, here, thanks to you guys. (So Terminex really doesn’t work, eh?

    absepa: HA! No, it’s good. In a lame but good way. It definitely suits the drawing. Yes, the company’s name (not well-known, but I don’t want to mention it here) begins with S but has NOTHING to do with frogs. SuperFrog? Maybe.

    babs – beetle: I bet stuff like this just brings tears to your eyes. And you’re probably right. Somewhere a 5-year-old girl is angrily drawing stupid frogs on business cards.

    Tiggy: “Daddeeeee! Pwease make the fwog come awive. Hewe. I dwawd you a pitcher.” Yes. Yes, it makes perfect sense now.

    Jeff: HAW! Yeah, those webbed feet clearly have sucking powers. Not sure there motto is going to get them hired, tho I might give them a call just to blog about it.

    Stephanie Barr: Your brain should be proud. That was right on par with the whole theme. And maybe they were somehow cashing in on the whole gecko thing. That campaign has certainly been successful.

    Jay: Good ones! Now why didn’t they just include one of these jaunty, corny slogans below the frog-creature? It would be so much better!

    Kathy: Poor kid. But what better way to feel humiliated? At least I was nice enough not to name her daddy’s company.

  16. 16 MamaNeedsaCosmo

    Looks like the WB frog had to find a 2nd job to make ends meet.

    And OMG, Daisy — that made me pee my pants!

    MamaNeedsaCosmo’s last blog post..“Bolt,” On Drugs

  17. 17 dcr

    Everyone knows frogs love a well-manicured lawn. And, who better to have install that backyard water feature you’ve always wanted?

    And the Budweiser frogs thought they were smart by putting their earnings into the stock market rather than buying pimped-out lily pads. Now look what the economy has forced them to do!

    dcr’s last blog post..Goal Post on the Ides of March

  18. 18 Rocky

    That is one of the weirdest looking logos I’ve ever seen. I’ll say the same thing know I say every time I see a terrible commercial on TV: it ticks me of that someone made major money because of that while my staggering undiscovered genius is stuck watching TV at home. Sigh.

    Rocky’s last blog post..Justin Snake Boots

  19. 19 Lola

    It’s ALIVE! Yup, I’m still alive and kickin, so far. So far no bad effects other than psychological scarring…

    We suck leaves and grubs….so you don’t have toooooooooo.

    Maybe their theme song is a Toad The Wet Sprocket song?

    You know, since I’m from around your area, I REALLY need to know what company that is. Couldn’t you please tell? Please?

    Lola’s last blog post..Fun Friday

  20. 20 Elle

    Oh, I thought of another angle here — maybe this is the rare

    (wait for it…)

    Leaffrog! (get it , like leapfrog?? It appears you’ve caught me two days in a row before my coffee. My story and sticking with it.)

    Elle’s last blog post..Four Foods on Friday – Pot Pourri

  21. 21 Jenn Thorson

    He’s definitely a frog– Kermit’s cousin perhaps– who, instead of going to Hollywood and starring in the pictures, decided what HIS rainbow connection was, was to open his own landscaping business.

    All the bugs you can eat, and none of that pig trouble some other frogs have been prone to.

    Jenn Thorson’s last blog post..Ah Shall Nevah Go Uncaffeinated Again!

  22. 22 JD's Mom

    What’s the matter with you two? It’s perfectly clear to me – it’s a little frog, carrying his little tank of weed-killer over his shoulder. Notice the dead leaves by his right foot, and those that haven’t been zapped yet by his left. The “S” on his shirt stands for Super Frog.

  23. 23 Natural

    I can’t think of any reason why a landscaper would use a frog as their mascot, so your reason is as good as any. Grass is green, a frog is green. Maybe the frog is actually a swatch they use to compare the color of your grass to what it should be. If it’s not as green then they give you this song and dance: Motto: We hop to it, so you don’t have to

    Maybe the frog works for cheap? Hey can you call and ask them or email me the phone number. Now I have to know. FROG, an acronym? Forget the Rest Only Go with the best. Maybe not because there is no animal named FROGWTB

    Natural’s last blog post..Pet Peeve Friday

  24. 24 D at Seafoodpunch

    hehehehe. I can always rely on you to make me laugh. That frog is pretty ridiculous. But you know, I feel that the landscaping company deserves some business for all the entertainment they’re providing. I would have never thought of a frog with a leaf blower…it just doesnt make any sense!!!! and this is coming from a person who likes to draw chocolate romantically involved with bacon.

    D at Seafoodpunch’s last blog post..Public Service Announcement #724

  25. 25 Trade Show Guru

    hey JD,
    Now you know that you HAVE to hire them, at least one time, to see if they’ll show up dressed as Super Frog.
    Don’t tease us… you must hire them!
    ~ Steve, the now-I’m-curious trade show guru

    Trade Show Guru’s last blog post..Green Trade Show Displays

  26. 26 JD

    MamaNeedsaCosmo: Oh, that Daisy. And you’re right: it’s kind of a lame-looking WB frog. Maybe he’s a convict doing community service?

    dcr: HA! Good point. And now that you mention it, I always HAVE wanted a nice pond in my backyard.

    Rocky: I don’t know how much money this guy is making. But I agree with you on the whole terrible TV commercial thing. Good or bad, they still rake it in.

    Lola: OK, since you beg: The name of the company is Sapo Landscaping. You may also be interested to learn that among their specialties is “Eding.” I think that’s a cross between edging and weeding. I’m glad you’re still alive!

    Elle: OH! I think you may be on to something! The Leaffrog! I’ve heard about him. They could at least give us some kind of clue.

    Jaffer: Why did Akimset jail you for that? You’re only being nice!

    Jenn Thorson: OK, I’m not getting the “pig trouble” reference. Do I need more coffee? Less Vicodin? I do love the “Kermit’s cousin” scenario.

    JD’s Mom: Well, I can hardly argue with any of that (and not just because you’re my mom).

    Natural: HA! Maybe it’s just “Forget the Rest . . . Go!”

    D at Seafoodpunch: You should contact them–I’m just imagining the hilarious image YOU would come up with!

    Trade Show Guru: Oh, boy. Now I’m curious too. I wouldn’t mind someone digging up my irises (they are REALLY in there, or I would do it). Could Super Frog be the answer?

  27. 27 Corrina

    LOL- My FIRST thought was “Who’s five-year-old drew that hideous frog?” But actually, since I knew it was a frog, I suppose it’s a rather good rendition for a child. If an adult did it, that would be sad.

    I have no idea what frogs and yard work have in common. Good luck with that. Ha

  28. 28 Lin

    I don’t have a darned thing to say about this stupid frog and his leaf blower. It’s just butt-ugly and I don’t imagine they are getting much business from this logo.

    It just all reminds me of those stupid garden gnomes people have in their yards. They always have yard tools too, and there are always a whole bunch of them working away on the yard. Who would hire a bunch of little guys with teeny tiny tools to do their yardwork? Being that they are so small, wouldn’t you think that no sooner would they finish they would have to start again? I don’t think frogs or gnomes are really all that impressive as Landscapers.

    Lin’s last blog post..Mr. Potatohead is an idiot

  29. 29 C.B.Jones

    “But why a frog? What does a frog have to do with landscaping?” Question is, what DOESN’T a frog have to do with landscaping?

    The answer is probably everything.

    C.B.Jones’s last blog post..Man dies while using iPhone 3, lives to tell about it

  30. 30 Musing

    I don’t think that frog would do a very good job. He’s not even looking at what he’s doing.

    Musing’s last blog post..Comment Phobia: I Has It

  31. 31 Puglette

    ok, i think it is the owner’s child that drew the picture. maybe it’s their version of the geico gecko. or, maybe all they could afford was sam salamander, the gecko’s homely cousin.

    i am not sure, i am on the sugar rush of my single sized container of hd carmel cone ice cream. mmmmmsugar

    Puglette’s last blog post..Movie Time!

  32. 32 Lola

    Yeah! Thank you. I actually thought it was Scopelliti. Lol! I wonder if they have the frog painted on their trucks. Do they have frogs on the fronts of their shirts instead of Lacoste Alligators?

    It could be this guy was a budding graphic artist but his parents discouraged his artistic talents telling him he’d never make any money with art, but he’s proving them wrong by being a landscaper who does his own graphic art. Hey, I think I got it.

    Lola’s last blog post..How To Handle Online Community Death Notifications

  33. 33 Regan

    Now, I’m hurt. I was the little girl who drew the weird frog-thing doing yardwork! I hoped that maybe it would come to life and do some of my chores for me. But, I’m just insulted.

    But really, what is it? I think the frog is doing landscaping cause ponds are landscaping (right, aren’t they?) and frogs live in ponds. Or around them or whatever.

    Regan’s last blog post..Girl Scout Cookies

  34. 34 Tim

    Okay, I come from a family full of artists and I have spent lots of time in art classes, with children and adults. 99% of adults, let alone children, couldn’t draw something that good. The problem is more that it is just not a very good concept, a frog with a mailbag or leaf blower or whatever. Any bloggers care to draw them a better logo for JD to give them? :)
    If a kid drew that, good job! That is really talented, keep drawing!
    If an adult drew that, which is more likely, nice try but you need more practice. And a new concept. This idea is like a Stephen King thought snippet.

    Tim’s last blog post..Deskercise To Burn Off Those Greasy Pepperoni Snacks

  35. 35 Angry Max

    Kermit’s looking kind of chubby there. Hmmm… the funny thing is that I drew a very similar mascot, and now I feel ashamed. Not so much that you’re crushing my dreams, but that I made a crappy mascot AND I got scooped by a little kid.

    Angry Max’s last blog post..A Cure for Peanut Allergy: Grow a Pair

  36. 36 JD

    Corrina: You’re right. Maybe we should be praising this kid instead of tearing her down. Unless, indeed, her dad drew it. Then there cannot be ENOUGH criticism.

    Lin: I am sensing some deep-seated resentment toward gnomes and frogs. I agree: All one of those gnomes could really do is maybe trim one blade of grass every so often. A frog? Even less.

    C.B. Jones: Hmmm. You’ve given me a whole new perspective on this. How could I have lived so long, not seeing frogs in this way?

    Musing: RIGHT! Back to anti-frog. He looks a little simple, doesn’t he?

    Puglette: Mmmmm. Are you eating the HD Caramel Cone??? ‘Cuz Dave produced another kind this weekend: Edy’s “Fullly Loaded” Caramel Cone, which he proudly pointed out was way cheaper. But it was not better. I like the idea of homely cousin Sam Salamander.

    Lola: I’ll do some research and let you know. How funny would it be to see a truck go by my window with this very logo? And, yes! You may have stumbled on THE explanation! Brilliant!

    Regan: Uh oh. No, I know you could draw WAY better than this, even when you were TWO. I can see hiring a frog to do pond landscaping . . . I guess.

    Tim: HA! That frog definitely belongs in “Lawnmower Man 3: The Froggening.” I guess it’s pretty good for a kid drawing, but something tells me a grown man with a mustache and pot belly drew this. I just have a feeling. . .

    Angry Max: I’m glad I’m not crushing your dreams. But you didn’t tell us what your company does? If it’s a frog-catching company, then way to go!

  37. 37 Regan

    No, I’m actually very bad at drawing. I got an 80 in art last year because the art teacher thought I sucked. Well, she didn’t actually come out and say that, but my art isn’t good at all.

    Or maybe the frog is there because sometimes you see frogs in grass. And some people have those little frog statue things on their lawns.

    Regan’s last blog post..Girl Scout Cookies

  38. 38 Puglette

    yes, it was the real caramel cone ice cream!! and it was fabulous! and remind dave that you are so worth the extra pennies for the real ice cream…accept no substitutions! no scrimping by hubby’s on items for their lovely wife’s.

    Puglette’s last blog post..Movie Time!

  39. 39 debby

    It seems like to me, if a frog was doing leaf removal, he should start in my koi pond. Just saying.

    debby’s last blog post..Returning

  40. 40 JD

    Regan: Still, with an 80 in art, I bet you could do better. And that’s a good point about frogs in grass. But here in the Midwest, well, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a frog, except for in the zoo.

    Puglette: YAY! I like the way you think. I’m copying this in an e-mail to Dave. Tho I suspect he will “HARUMPH!” and be unswayed. I’m glad you enjoyed it tho.

    debby: Maybe I should send you the flyer?

  41. 41 Puglette

    hey! stop by for a smooch from Ollie!

    Puglette’s last blog post..Warmest Wishes

  42. 42 Regan

    Oh, I’ve seen a frog outside of a zoo. Me and my friend were walking and we found this random little frog in the grass. It scared us a little, cause there was no water or anywhere a frog would normally be nearby.

    Maybe the frog is helping landscape by eating bugs? No one likes bugs in their landscapes.

    Regan’s last blog post..Girl Scout Cookies

  43. 43 Maureen

    No, no, no sillies….

    It’s Michigan J. Frog on his day job! It’s only at night that he sings:

    “Hello my baby, Hello my honey, Hello my ragtime gal…”

    The “S” is for Singing frog.

    Yup. Definitely.

    Maureen’s last blog post..What Was That?

  44. 44 Brona

    Like Jenn Thorson, my first thought was that’s Kermit the frog – he’s taken up gardening after retirement perhaps?

    Brona’s last blog post..Where does lost luggage go?

  45. 45 JD

    Puglette: I did! SMOOOOOOCHES to Ollie!

    Regan: Did the frog you and your friends saw look anything like this cartoon frog? ‘Cuz we might be making a connection here.

    Maureen: Now I LIKE that explanation! If only they’d drawn some musical notes around his head . . .

    Brona: Hee! Maybe he got tired of saying, “It’s not easy being green” and decided to do something about it?

  46. 46 Grog


    “Put the Meth Pipe down or your eyes will buldge like mine and you will be picking up others yard waste!”

    Grog’s last blog post..Traveling Safely

  47. 47 JD

    Grog: HA! A cautionary frog. Maybe it’s just what these kids today need, after all.

  48. 48 Alex

    I find the drawing quite artistic. But I think it doesn’t fit for a landscape flyer.

    Alex’s last blog post..American Idol Top 11 Results, Replay | Season 8 American Idol 2009 Week 2 Recap

  49. 49 JD

    Alex: I guess it is artistic in its way . . .

  50. 50 Maya

    This is funny. I really don’t see how a frog has anything to do with landscaping either. But I think the picture is cute!

  51. 51 JD

    Maya: I have to say, the picture is growing on me. I also have to say, it took me a really long time to figure out it was a frog!

  52. 52 Fracis

    Funny thing is, the marketing has some what worked. If you are blogging about it, I wonder how many people got this flier and showed their friends and family for a chuckle. Meanwhile the guy is getting his name out for his horrible art work logo.

  53. 53 JD

    Fracis: Then everyone’s a winner!

  54. 54 Warren P. Bonds

    Alright, it’s a space-frog. Sent here from the future to tend to the lawns of law-abiding citizens everywhere. His name is Skippy (hence the “S”) and he cannot rest until leaves are not to be seen on your lawn, ever again.

    At least that’s my hypothesis.

  55. 55 JD

    Warren P. Bonds: A very sound hypothesis, in my opinion. But “Skippy”? It just doesn’t sound very much like what a space-frog would be named.

  56. 56 Rhonda

    That drawing does look like something from outer space and has no place on a landscaping flyer… turtles and lizards are green like a lawn should be so that could possibly be their connection…. I’m thinking the flyer needs a huge stamp on it that says “FAIL”.

  57. 57 John Murray

    Wow, that’s a fantastic logo. I’d surely hire them. To be honest though, the only door to door flyers that really catch my attention are the ones with pizza coupons. I’m always hungry, that’s probably why. The rest, I just let fall off.


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