26 Oct, 2011 in Drink / history tagged ancient and Honorable bespeak of tortoise / ancient Order of turtles / are you a turtle / Captain Hugh McGowan / Denis McGowan / drinking society / Hugh McGowan / Hugh P. McGowan / ireland lad / lady friend / RUA tortoise / turtle / turtle club / wifey / YBYSAIA by derekwadsworth.com

A couple months ago, I remained in a conference at work-related to see some upcoming TV pilots. One of the network sales women stated something (I’m tho not certain what that was) and caused ours media manager to automatically turn to her and also demand “Are you a TURTLE??

Uh… no…?” the woman stammered back, plainly confused by this sudden query.

You are watching: Turtle club riddles

Oh. Never mind. It’s a drink thing,” responded the media manager, i m sorry naturally led to MY ear to perk up and also put the booze-sodden brain on alert mode.Later that day, ns popped into the media manager’s office come ask her what that totality turtle/ drinking point was about. This is the woman that keeps magnum-sized bottles of vodka in her office, received as gifts from various clients. She’s horribly sarcastic and also incredibly amusing, specifically in drab meetings, and also seems to recognize most world worth learning in Boston. She stated the turtle concern was component of a drinking society from ago in the day, and dug through her purse until she found a battered and folded index card. “Would you choose to it is in a turtle?

Sure,” ns replied.

Ok then,” and she conduct to read the speech published on the card:

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We assume all prospective Turtles very own a Jack Ass. This assumption is the reason for the password.

This password need to be provided if you are ever before asked by a fellow member, “Are you a Turtle?” You should then answer “You bet her sweet ass ns am.” If you do not give the password in full due to the fact that of embarrassment or some various other reason, you forfeit a beverage the his choice. So constantly remember the password.

As all members are of clean mental to become an official Turtle the human being must fix the complying with riddles v clean-minded correct answers :

1. What is the a man have the right to do standing up, a mrs sitting down, and also a dog on three legs?

2. What is it that a cow has 4 of and also woman has actually only two of?

3. What is a four letter word finishing in ‘k’ that way the very same as intercourse?

4. What is that on a man that is round, hard, and also sticks so far out the his pajamas the you can hang a hat on it?After part prompting, I managed to come up v the four answers, and also she proclaimed me a member the The order of the Turtles. Now that ns was officially in the club, ns was even much more intrigued. An old college drinking club? AWESOME. To be this a local thing, or well-known? when did it start? As close to as I can piece with each other from various interweb sources, the story begins back in WWII, as soon as Captain Hugh P. McGowan of the U.S. Military Air Corps 8 hours Air force was a bomber pilot stationed in England. In his words:


“We to be flying daytime battle missions over Hitler’s third Reich. We just wanted a little fun.We had seen a sign showing that the ‘Ancient bespeak of Foresters’ and also the ‘Royal Antedeluvian bespeak of Buffalos’ would fulfill in the regional pub, and so i asked the branch of the pub what was that all about? The pub’s branch told us that the clubs’ neighborhood branches would fulfill in the pub’s earlier room, and that that would offer them diminished prices for your pints and drinks because that holding their meetings in ~ his pub.I asked that if ours club might meet there, and he agreed, and also asked for the name of ours club.I told that that we were the ‘Ancient and Honorable order of Turtles,’ and also it stuck.

I devised the surname ‘Ancient and also Honorable bespeak of Turtles’ for the funny of it. It soon spread transparent the bomber pilots, then the fighter pilots, and soon come other bombing groups and squadrons, and also to various other air bases. We also initiated members of the other Services, and soon,even allied pilots were being initiated together Turtles in the backrooms the pubs throughout England.The Order to be not intended to it is in serious, as it had no constitution or by-laws, no officially applications because that membership, no fee or fees, and also a basic initiation ritual. It was a relief from the horrors and dangers we saw every job on our missions. It spread out after the War through the VFW and also American Legion posts, and eventually, to colleges and also even come the high institutions of the U.S.A.
Now you’re talk my language. They were in a pub, and also noticed that groups and clubs got discounted drinks, so they comprised their own. Once they got home, it spread throughout the country, and also was apparently quite famed in the 1950s and 60s. There to be “Turtle Parties” come recruit brand-new members, complete with rituals, member cards and little turtle lapel pins. Anyone else feel choose drinking was a lot much more fun back then? There’s also a turtle Creed which states:


Turtles space bright eyed, bushy tailed, fearless and unafraid individual with a fighter pilot attitude.They think clean, have actually fun a lot, and also recognize the reality thatyou never ever get any kind of place worthwhile in life unless you stick your neck out.

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When I stated it to be quite well known in the ’60s, ns wasn’t joking. Freaking astronauts to be doing it. Ns guess that makes sense, due to the fact that a most them started off as armed forces pilots. From Wikipedia:


“During the Mercury-Atlas 8 mission (part of the joined States an are program), astronaut Wally Schirra to be asked through a floor controller even if it is he to be a turtle. No wanting to usage vulgar language while his communications were being broadcast worldwide, that temporarily stopped transmitting if he provided the forced response.”

Brother Schirra got also with brother Slayton during Apollo 7’s flight, when he wrote “Deke Slayton, room you a Turtle?” ~ above a huge object in former of the cameras because that the NASA windy Affairs Officer, brother Paul P. Haney, the “Voice that Mission Control,” and Brother Slayton to reply.

See more: How Many Feet In A 1/4 Mile ? How Many Feet Are In 1/4 Of A Mile

Brother Deke Slayton’s turtle membership card and also pin to be auctioned turn off for $290.00 on April 22, 2006.”>

Dude, also the President was in on the joke. Again, from Wiki:


“President Kennedy was allegedly inquiry if he to be a turtle at a press conference, come which that replied, ‘I’ll purchase you her drink later."”

Ball-busting v JFK. Awesome.

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So, how does this work? Well, when you come to be a member, friend ask other members “Are you a turtle?” If lock don’t respond v the proper password, they have to buy you a drink. That’s half the fun… girlfriend ask who if they’re a turtle at a time when they’re recorded off guard (the media manager does this all the time with her husband, and then demands champagne for her complimentary drinks. I favor her style) or once they can’t yes, really reply through the proper password as result of the indigenous “ass.” like an astronaut broadcasting global from space, or a chairman at a push conference.

Yeah, now I’m betting you desire to know just how to end up being a turtle. Well, from other sites I’ve read, the initiation process can be very basic or really complicated, depending upon the local chapter rules. Part make a game of it and place 4 drinks in prior of the candidate before they prize the questions. Any type of vulgar or not correct answer way the candidate takes a drink. A correct answer way everyone present takes a drink (including the candidate). Some chapters have various questions, but with the same straightforward theme: the evident answer is vulgar, however the exactly one is perfectly innocuous, though leading towards innuendo. Many of the info I found was on horrible Geocities, Tripod, and other free, horrible antique internet servers. This makes sense given the advancing period of most original Turtles. However, i think it’s hilarious, and also have jumped in and recruited number of friends consisting of the Lady Friend and Wifey, though i don’t think the ireland Lad has taken the plunge.If anyone rather has more knowledge of the Turtles, I’d love come hear around it. Ns am at this time the self-proclaimed chairman of the Portland Maine chapter, until someone have the right to prove otherwise. If you’d choose to it is in initiated right into the ancient and Honorable bespeak of Turtles, feel complimentary to comment and also I’ll “officially” induct you. I’d really choose to check out if this point is tho going the end there, or if us can carry it back, though i doubt we’ll gain Obama into it; ns don’t think he drinks as lot as JFK did.Also, this short article was update in several places after receiving a an extremely informative email from Denis McGowan, the boy of founder Cpt. Hugh McGowan. He right now holds the rank of Supreme royal Turtle, a title held by the successor to the founder. He an extremely helpfully offered me a ton that “official” details on the Order, and I’ve do the efforts to include it in the original short article where possible.Some other helpful links about the Order:– A pretty thorough history– The Wiki entry– one more helpful tortoise site– perhaps the “official” site, due to the fact that they own the domain name– one more “official” and extensive page, with a fictionalized background of the Order


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