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The Best Time

A proverb on a bench in San Diego’s Balboa Park reads: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.” This is part of a complete episode.


What does shambles mean? If your house is in shambles, it’s a mess, but before the 1920s, the word shambles referred to a butcher’s bloody bench. This is part of a complete episode.

bench cut

bench cut  n.—Gloss: A terraced or step-like cut in soil, stone, wood, or other material. «Volunteers will learn how to decrease erosion on slopes by a method called “bench cutting.” They will then make some bench cuts on local trails...


tank  n.— «The caddies work six days a week, assigned at “the bench” above Sankaty’s parking lot. Carrying one bag—a tank in camp parlance—nets $70, in addition to a tip that averages about $20.» —“At Camp Sankaty Head, Young Caddies...

dirt tracking

dirt tracking  n.— «Ten minutes after the final whistle, the substitutes came out to run around and get the blood pumping; dirt tracking, as it is known. The bench boys have adrenalin coursing through their veins but it has not had an...