Anyone (under 4'3") can race horses. Turtles, though? Turtles take a special kind of person. The kind who's in Lincoln Square at dive bar Big Joe’s where every Friday at 9p they do honest-to-God reptilian racing, a rite of passage for any Chicagoan. Here’s the rundown of do's and don'ts that’ll make you look like a professional turtle racing shark the next time you're getting your passage rited.
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DO show up early to start collecting tickets. Pitchers, pints, and shots will all net you raffle tickets that are later drawn for the races. Miller Lite bottles and Half Acre drafts're usually both super-discounted.
DON'T beafraid to pace yourself, though. Unless, of course, you wanna be making the same face as this guy.
DO listen closely for your ticket number to be drawn. There’ll be six races with six competitors, drawn at random.
DON'T cut in front of the person with the winning ticket and yell, “I volunteer as tribute!” no matter how much you love Catching Fire.
DO say 'hello' to your turtle caller Sean and his amazing hat.
DON'T be afraid to admit you’re a “turtle virgin” -- the folks at Big Joe’s are very gentle lovers.
DO create an instant Pokemon-level bond with your turtle. You’ll be assigned to Chucks, Lola, Doozy, Swisher, Jolanda, or Lucky Dan. A win will net you a free Big Joe’s t-shirt and entry into their Las Vegas tournament.
DON'T sweat it if you draw “the slowest f**king turtle in the world” Jolanda -- if your turtle comes in dead-last, you’ll get a free drink.
DO keep your Solo cup near two girls in your hand and refrain from pounding the table.