Start Making Turtles and Ponds 

Use this guide to help you with the rituals and questions

Download Current Membership Guide Here!

Legend of the Turtle

Once upon a time, many years ago there was a man who was of good and noble character; without a trace of impurity in his thoughts. Unfortunately all about him he saw persons with vulgar minds unable to think of anything, except in sexual terms. He bemoaned his inability to find others with a similar high mindedness, to his own. Like a turtle, he retreated into his shell. Then one day, while partaking of a pint of ale (for purely medicinal purposes of course), he realized that there must be others like him. Forced into bars, and saloons; imbibing alcohol as a balm for the ills inflicted by obscene and vulgar persons.

He resolved to locate all the other pure minded individuals that he could, even if this meant spending his every waking hour crawling from one bar to the next. This was the beginning of the Turtles. He embarked upon this quest with vigor and determination, but, since he was a man of limited means, quickly ran out of money.

Then one day, he got a tip on a horse running at long odds at the local track. The problem was that he had no money left with which to gamble. So, in desperation he wagered his last and most prized possession a donkey which he had raised from birth.  Now this donkey was a particularly gentle and temperate animal, with a loving disposition. To lose his donkey would have been devastating, and yet what choice was there if the quest was to continue? Fortunately, he won the wager, and with the money was able to continue in his search for many more years, and begin the association of Turtles we know today.

History

The late Captain Hugh P. McGowan, U.S. Army Air Corps/U.S. Air Force Reserve (Ret.), he and several pilots of the U.S. Army Air Corps 8th Air Force founded the Ancient and Honorable Order of Turtles in an officers' club while stationed in England during the Second World War: "We were flying daytime bombing missions over Hitler's Third Reich. We just wanted a little fun. We had seen a sign showing that the 'Ancient Order of Foresters' and the 'Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffalos' would meet in the local pub, so I devised the name 'Ancient and Honorable Order of Turtles' for the fun of it. It was not meant to be serious; it had no constitution or by-laws, and was a relief from the horrors and dangers we saw every day on our missions. It spread after the War through the VFW and American Legion posts, and eventually, to colleges and even to the high schools of the U.S.A." 

Now, some Turtle history about an astronaut was asked the question, "Are you a Turtle?" by ground control, Wally Schirra who was asked: 

"Just a minute, Wally. Let's see. Oh, it's a little message to Deke Slayton. A little bit closer Wally. Kind of looks like something about - 'Are you a, are you a --" Schirra acknowledged, "That's right." CAPCOM continued, "Looks like it says, 'Are you a turtle, Deke Slayton?" 

Schirra confirmed, "That's right." Eisele added, "You get an A for reading today Jack." Swigert continued, "Here comes another one. Walt, oh, that-a-way, that's the way to turn it. It says, 'Paul Haney, are you a turtle?'" Cunningham radioed, "You'll get a gold star. Perfect score!" Swigert reported, "And there is no reply from Paul Haney there." Cunningham asked, "You mean he's speechless?" 

A short while later, CAPCOM Cernan informed Schirra, "Wally, this is Gene. Deke just called in, and we've got your answer, and we've got it recorded for you return." Schirra acknowledged, "Roger. Real fine." 

Shortly thereafter, Schirra asked CAPCOM Swigert, "Have you got Haney's answer yet?" Swigert replied, "No, Haney's isn't talking, Wally." Swigert then added, "Somebody tells me he isn't talking, but just buying." A pleased Schirra responded, "He is buying. Thank you very much. Very good.”

This exchange about turtles was a reference to the notorious Turtle's Club drinking club of which Wally Schirra held the title of a Grand Potentate. During Schirra's Mercury flight Deke Slayton had radioed up to Schirra asking Schirra if he was a turtle. 

The proper response for a member of the Turtle's Club to give when challenged by another Turtle member could be misconstrued if taken out of context. The expectation is that every Turtle has in their possession a donkey. So the proper Turtle response is, "You bet your sweet ass I am." If a Turtle member fails to give the appropriate response, then they owe a drink to everyone within listening distance. 

Grand Hailing Sign

The hailing sign of the Fraternity of Turtles is done as follows:

Place your right hand level with your chest, closed in a fist with the thumb pointing outwards. Cover the right hand with your left hand, allowing the right thumb to stick out.

"Behold, Brother (or Sister) Turtle! The hailing sign of the Fraternity of Turtles! See the noble Turtle, sticking his head from his shell, seeking out the next drink!"

Turtle Call

Bloop! Bloop!

Password

Y.B.Y.S.A.I.A / or buy a drink

Turtle Creed

Turtles are bright eyed, bushy tailed fearless & unafraid folks with a fighter pilot attitude. They think clean, have fun a lot, & recognize the fact that you never get any place worthwhile in life unless you stick your neck out.

Degrees of the Order

There are the seven original degrees of the Ancient and Honorable Order of Turtles

Candidate - a person invited to become a Turtle;

Turtle - a Brother or Sister member duly initiated into the Order; 

Snapping Turtle - A Brother or Sister Turtle who has personally initiated 25 new Turtles;

Grand Snapping Turtle - A Brother or Sister Turtle who has initiated 50 or more Turtles;

Imperial Turtle - A Brother or Sister Turtle who has initiated 100 or more Turtles;

Past Imperial Turtle - A Brother or Sister who has initiated at least 150 new Turtles into the Order; 

Master Imperial Turtle - A Brother or Sister who has initiated at least 500 new Turtles into the Order. 

Pond Officers

Master Turtle-Presides over the chapter.

 

Senior Turtle-Assists in the opening of the chapter in the absence of MT

 

Junior Turtle-Assist in opening the chapter in the absence of MT and ST.

 

Senior Conductor Turtle-To conduct the Candidates on their journey.

 

Junior Conductor Turtle-To conduct and assist in the work of the chapter.

 

Turtle Secretary –To keep the minutes of the chapter.

 

Turtle Treasurer – To keep track of moneys

 

Turtle Marshall-To keep the peace of the chapter.

 

Turtle Sentinel- To guard within the chapter door. (Optional)

 

Turtle Warder-To guard within the chapter door. (Optional)

 

Turtle Tyler-To guard without the chapter door. (Optional)

 

Turtle Chaplin – Render prayer

Imperial Grand Pond Officers

 

Imperial Grand Master Turtle

Deputy Imperial Grand Master Turtle

Senior Imperial Grand Turtle

Junior Imperial Grand Turtle

Grand Imperial Secretary Turtle

Grand Imperial Treasurer Turtle

Senior Imperial Grand Conductor Turtle

Junior Imperial Grand Conductor Turtle

Imperial Grand Marshal Turtle

Imperial Grand Chaplain Turtle

Imperial Grand Lecturer Turtle

Imperial Grand Sentinel Turtle

Imperial Grand Tyler Turtle

Imperial Grand Warder Turtle

Imperial Grand Shell Bearer Turtle

Imperial Grand Donkey Bearer Turtle

Imperial Grand Almoner Turtle

Imperial Grand Chancellor Turtle

Imperial Grand Pursuivant Turtle

Special Deputy Grand Masters

District Deputy Grand Masters

Assistant Grand Lecturers

Past Master Turtles

Most Illustrious Keith Becker

Right Illustrious Josh Prouix

Right Illustrious

Right Illustrious

Right Illustrious

Right Illustrious

Right Illustrious

Right Illustrious

Right Illustrious

Right Illustrious

Right Illustrious

Very Illustrious

Very Illustrious

Very Illustrious

Very Illustrious

Very Illustrious

Very Illustrious

Very Illustrious

Very Illustrious

Right Illustrious

Right Illustrious

 Very Illustrious

Illustrious

Grip of the Order

The Grip or secret handclasp of the Fraternity of Turtles is done as follows:

Place the middle and index fingers against the wrist of the other Brother or Sister Turtle. Press the fingers gently against the wrist, as they do the same to your wrist.

"Behold, Brother (or Sister) Turtle! The grip or secret handclasp of the Fraternity of Turtles! Feel the alcohol pulsing through each other's veins!"

Turtle Initiation Ritual

The Turtles approach the prospective candidate and solemnly ask him (or her)


T: do you wish to join the ancient & honorable fraternal order of Turtles?


If the candidate agrees to join the Turtles, they are taken to a side room or private area where the initiation can be conducted in relative privacy.... If background music is being played that substitutes as a private area. Phone initiations are allowed too.

The candidate is advised that:


T: You are about to join an honorable drinking fraternity composed of ladies and gentlemen of the highest morals and good character, ladies and gentlemen who are never vulgar. It is assumed by the Turtles that you the candidate also own a donkey of a sweet and kindly disposition. Do you have a Donkey?


CT: *** It has come to my attention that Brother/Sister_________ wishes to become a turtle. Turtles will you please form the circle of friendship. (All Turtles form a circle around with the officers at the four corners. Candidate is left outside circle only to hear mumbles and whispers)


AT: Brother/Sister _____ after much deliberation it has been unanimously agreed that you may join the turtle lodge.


MT: Brother/Sister _____ please make your way to the center of the circle with a full drink in hand.


ST: You will be asked a series of four riddles the answers to are NEVER vulgar; the wrong answer will result in a penalty of drinking a quarter of your drink. The correct will result in us drinking a quarter of ours. Either way it is a win-win situation.

Candidate steps to the center of the circle and is asked questions


CT: • answers Questions

*** All are seated unless there is another candidate then the first candidate will join the circle and the process will repeat***


CT: I will now explain to you the story of the turtles. …Once upon a time, many years ago there was a man who was of good and noble character; without a trace of impurity in his thoughts. Unfortunately all about him he saw persons with vulgar minds unable to think of anything, except in sexual terms. He bemoaned his inability to find others with a similar high-mindedness, to his own. Like a turtle, he retreated into his shell. Then one day, while partaking of a pint of ale (for purely medicinal purposes of course), he realized that there must be others like him. Forced into bars, and saloons; imbibing alcohol as a balm for the ills inflicted by obscene and vulgar persons. He resolved to locate all the other pure minded individuals that he could, even if this meant spending his every waking hour crawling from one bar to the next. This was the beginning of the Turtles. He embarked upon this quest with vigor and determination, but, since he was a man of limited means, quickly ran out of money. Then one day, he got a tip on a horse running at long odds at the local track. The problem was that he had no money left with which to gamble. So, in desperation he wagered his last and most prized possession a donkey which he had raised from birth. Now this donkey was a particularly gentle and temperate animal, with a loving disposition. To lose his donkey would have been devastating, and yet what choice was there if the quest was to continue? Fortunately, he won the wager, and with the money was able to continue in his search for many more years, and begin the association of Turtles we know today. And so, to commemorate this event, all members of this esteemed organization when asked, "Are You a Turtle?", must respond immediately without hesitation or fear of embarrassment, in a voice as loud and clear as the voice of the questioner: "You bet your sweet ass, I am" Failure to do so at any time, will be penalized by having to buy a beer for everyone close enough to have heard the original question.


ST: You will now be shown the due guard and grip of a turtle. This is the due guard of a turtle it alludes to a turtle coming out of his shell and sticking his neck out for a fellow turtle. This is the grip of a turtle with the two fingers extended so that you may feel not only the alcohol but friendship flowing through your companion’s veins


AT: Brothers (pointing at the new initiates) RUAT?


CT: YBYSAIA/or buying a drink.

 

Questions

1. What does a woman do sitting down; that a man does standing up, that a dog does on three legs -- shake hands.

 

2. What word begins with an F and ends with a UCK -- fire truck.

 

3. What's hairy, hard and sticks out of a man's pajamas at night -- his head.

 

4. What four letter word, ending in K, represents intercourse between a man and a women -- talk.

 

5. What is it that a cow has four of and a woman only two -- legs.

 

6. What goes in hard but comes out soft and wet -- gum.

 

7. What does a dog do that a man steps in -- pants.

 

8. What can you find in a man's pants that is about six inches long, has a head on it, and that women love so much they often blow? -- a twenty dollar bill.

 

9. Name five words that are each four letters long, end in u-n-t, one of which is a word for a woman -- bunt, hunt, runt, punt, aunt.

 

10. What four letter word begins with f and ends with k, and if you can't get one you can use your hands -- fork.

 

11. What is hard, six inches long, has two nuts, and can make a girl fat?

--Almond Joy

 

12. What four-letter word ends in i-t and is found on the bottom of birdcages -- Grit.

 

13. What is it that all men have one of; that is longer on some men than others, that the Pope doesn't use, and that a man gives to his wife after they're married

-- his last name.

 

14. What is it on a man that gets very large when he is excited -- his pupils.

 

15. What is long, round, wet and full of sea men -- a submarine

 

16. What starts with a “C” and ends with a “T”, is hairy, oval, delicious and contains thin whitish liquid? -- Coconut

 

17. I am a protrusion that comes in many sizes. When I'm not well, I drip. When you blow me, you feel good. What am I? -- A Nose

 

18. I'm spread before I'm eaten. Your tongue gets me off. People sometimes lick my nuts. What am I? -- Peanut Butter

 

19. I assist an erection. Sometimes big balls hang from me. I'm called a big swinger. What am I? -- A Crane

 

20. Over 1,000 people went down on me. I wasn't a maiden for long. A big hard thing ripped me open. What am I? -- The Titanic

 

21. You stick your poles inside me. You tie me down to get me up. I get wet before you do. What am I? -- A Tent

 

22. When I go in I cause pain. I cause you to spit and ask you not to swallow. I can fill your hole. What am I? --A Dentist

 

23. A finger goes in me. You fiddle with me when you're bored. The best man always has me first. What am I? -- A Wedding Ring

 

24. All day long, it's in and out. I discharge loads from my shaft. Both men and women go down on me. What am I? -- An Elevator

 

25. If I miss, I hit your bush. It's my job to stuff your box. When I come, it's news. What am I? -- A Newspaper Boy

 

26. I offer Protection. I get the finger ten times. You use your fingers to get me off. What am I? -- A Glove

 

27. I have a stiff shaft. My tip penetrates. I come with a quiver. What am I?

-- An Arrow

 

28. My business is briefs. I am a cunning linguist. I plead and plead for it. What am I? -- An Attorney

 

29. I go in hard. I come out soft. You blow me hard. What am I?

-- Chewing Gum


Working Tools

SCT: Behold the stirring stick and bottle opener; these are essential working tools of the Imperial Turtle. The stirring stick teaches us to mix up life a little bit, not to get stuck in the same boring routine of having the same drink day after day use this tool wisely and have fun. The bottle opener teaches us that no matter what difficulties are presented to us in life there is always a way break through and enjoy its rewards. The Jigger is the emblem of the Senior and Junior Turtles and teaches us about drinking within our means, some of us can drink more some of use less, let us drink to within our limits. The Muddler, is the emblem of the Senior and Junior Conductor Turtles and is that special tools that reminds us that we all come from many places and backgrounds, and we blend ourselves with each other and become one greater Turtle.


JT: Amongst these working tools you will find the Beer Mug, Martini Glass, and Shot glass; these are to teach us that sublime principle: “to each their own.” Every Turtle has his or her personal likes and dislikes and that we as Imperial Turtles, should respect that.


ST: As stated before you will find the Bartenders Book, This is a special text to all Imperial Turtles as it shows us all the different ways to cure the ill ef-fects of life. It teaches us how to use your medicinal liquors wisely, perfect-ing our designs and creations. Go forth and find others who read this special text because they will be of equal high mindedness and class.


MT: In my hand you will find the most important working tool of the Imperial Turtle, the cocktail shaker. Even with all the other tools it is impossible to mix a perfect drink without this glorious device, in the words of the great James Bond all good drinks are shaken…not stirred.

Chapter Opening

Master Turtle: ** Snappers please come together as turtles. Officers please take your seats in the four corners. Senior Snapper, are you sure all present are turtles?

Senior Turtle: Yes Master Turtle all present are Brother/sister turtles.

OR

Senior Turtle: Master Turtle I do not know and will ascertain the worthiness of the turtles gathered. (ST will ask the brother/sister in a low voice RUAT? With a return of YBYSAIA! Those without the pass will be asked to wait at the bar with patience so they can be recommended for membership.)

MT: Brother/sister Senior Turtle RUAT?

ST: YBYSAIA!

MT: What induced you to become a turtle?

ST: In order I might come out of my shell.

MT: Where were you made a turtle?

ST: In a chapter of turtles.

MT: What number constitutes a chapter of turtles?

ST: Six or more consisting of Master Turtle, Senior and Junior Turtle, Senior and Junior Conductor turtle, Marshall Turtle

MT: Where is the place of the Senior and Junior Conductor turtles?

ST: At the right side of the table.

MT: SCT why on the right side of the table?

SCT: To see that mugs are frosty foamy and full.

MT: Where is the place of the Junior turtle?

SCT: At the left side of the table.

MT: JT why at the left side of the table?

JT: To make sure that drinks are ordered promptly.

MT: Where is the place of the Senior Turtle?

JT: At the end of the table.

MT: ST why at the end of the table?

ST: To make sure that all tabs are paid by the end of the night.

MT: Where is the place of the Master Turtle?

ST: At the head of the table.

MT: Why at the head?

ST: To observe the pleasure of the turtles gathered and to make sure that all present are part of the group.

MT: It is my order that this chapter of turtles now be open. Turtles please remember that a turtle is never vulgar, always cheerful, and always willing to stick his/her neck out for a fellow turtle.

MT: ** Turtles please join me in the opening toast.

Weather Turtles Near, Weather Turtles Far, you will find turtles at their favorite bars.

MT: Turtles where do we meet?

Ans: On the pond

MT:  *

 

Layout of Chapter when in Lodge

Chapter Closing

MT: Brother/sister Senior Turtle RUAT?

ST: YBYSAIA!

MT: What induced you to become a turtle?

ST: In order I might come out of my shell.

MT: Where were you made a turtle?

ST: In a chapter of turtles.

MT: What number constitutes a chapter of turtles?

ST: Six or more consisting of Master Turtle, Senior and Junior Turtle, Senior and Junior Conductor turtle

MT: Where is the place of the Senior and Junior Conductor turtles?

ST: At the right side of the table.

MT: SCT why on the right side of the table?

SCT: To see that mugs are frosty foamy and full.

MT: Where is the place of the Junior turtle?

SCT: At the left side of the table.

MT: JT why at the left side of the table?

JT: To make sure that drinks are ordered promptly.

MT: Where is the place of the Senior Turtle?

JT: At the end of the table.

MT: ST why at the end of the table?

ST: To make sure that all tabs are paid by the end of the night.

MT: Where is the place of the Master Turlte?

ST: At the head of the table.

MT: Why at the head?

ST: To observe the pleasure of the turtles gathered and to make sure that all present are part of the group.

 

MT: ** Turtles please join me in the closing toast. Weather Turtles Near, Weather Turtles Far, you will find turtles at their favorite bars. May we come together as friends and leave with only the wind to our Backs

 

MT: Turtles how do we depart?

Ans: On the shell

MT: *











 

Layout of Chapter when at Table