Who uses it: Competitive dog handlers
What it means: A type of dog show in which the dogs must remain in designated areas (the benches) when they're not being shown, so that the public can see them.
How you can use it: For meetings you have to sit through even though you're not speaking.
The Westminster Dog Show is a benched show, as was its fictional counterpart, the Mayflower Dog Show, in the classic movie Best in Show. Rufus, a very cheerful-looking bull terrier, won last night's competition. I can't decide whether this is good or bad. On the one hand, maybe it'll make people less paranoid about pit bulls; on the other, maybe it'll mean more puppies adopted or purchased by people who don't have a clue.
I turn these dog shows on for Dizzy, in case he'd like to see what the competition is up to, but Dizzy never pays much attention. I'm pretty sure he doesn't see in two dimensions.
A woman who lives down the hill from me takes her miniature poodle out for walks in a baby stroller. When I saw them the other day, the poodle was wearing a cowboy hat and a bright red jacket. The woman was chatting with the poodle, who seemed to be listening attentively; I was too far away to hear any of the conversation.
The difference between this woman and me is only a matter of degree. That doesn't scare me as much as it should.