And Like That, the Phrase “Lifetime Supply of Turtle Wax” Becomes Incomprehensible

When was the last time you had a bath? If you were Jonathan, the giant tortoise who lives on the island of St. Helena, the answer might be 182 years. That’s the estimated age of Jonathan, who was brought to the island in 1882, which would make him the oldest living land animal on Earth. And on March 19, he got his first knownย bath.

Thus ends the submission drought of loyal reader Birdcage! Yay!

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46 thoughts on “And Like That, the Phrase “Lifetime Supply of Turtle Wax” Becomes Incomprehensible

  1. allein March 28, 2016 / 12:59 pm

    I don’t think he approves.

    • Murray Callahan March 28, 2016 / 1:08 pm

      I think he’s just saying, “A little more to the left, if you don’t mind.” What a lovely beastie.

  2. birdcage March 28, 2016 / 1:10 pm

    Phew! Something I submitted that wasn’t previously posted-and-enjoyed-by-the-masses! Why, after 182 years, does Jonathan need a wash, I wonder? Intolerable body odor? If not that, then what criteria does one use when determining the proper timing for washing one’s ancient tortoise?

    • Lurkingduck March 28, 2016 / 7:31 pm

      Birdcage, I’m sorry, but “washing one’s tortoise” struck me as being a little naughty. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

      • Faye March 29, 2016 / 8:33 am

        Coffee spitting funny. New euphemism.

      • Murray Callahan March 29, 2016 / 1:36 pm

        In my family we have a phrase that ended up sounding similarly “naughty” that came about after a session sitting on the floor and playing with our now long departed rabbit Edward. I said we had been on the floor “patting the bunny” – would make for an interesting collection of phrases.

        • Faye March 29, 2016 / 4:24 pm

          A coworker also had a true family story: young girl cousin sitting in the back of the car on a long summer ride. Old days, no AC. She starts to flap her skirt. The question: watcha doing? Answer: just cooling my pear.

          Needless to say, stepping outside of work for a breath of fresh air became known as going out to cool my pear.

    • hilz March 29, 2016 / 9:30 am

      Right?? Like someone looks at their watch and says “Aaannnddd… NOW. Now is bath time for Jonathan. It’s been 182 years, it’s time.”

  3. allein March 28, 2016 / 1:12 pm

    I was wondering that myself!

    • amyliz March 28, 2016 / 1:15 pm

      Maybe there’s a cute female tortoise they want him to meet!

      • Kar March 28, 2016 / 5:09 pm

        I’ve seen him on some armchair travel shows, I think he has some ‘friends’ on the grounds.

    • Murray Callahan March 28, 2016 / 1:18 pm

      Inquiring minds – me, too.

  4. amyliz March 28, 2016 / 1:14 pm

    Now I want to give a tortoise a bath!

  5. Phred's Mom March 28, 2016 / 1:32 pm

    He looks surprisingly spry for
    such an old codger. I think he
    was curious as what was going
    on back there.

    • Murray Callahan March 28, 2016 / 1:42 pm

      From what I understand, turtles’ shells are sensitive and enjoy being scritched – I’ll bet this is just a huge (excuse me, YUUUUUUGE) surprise to him.

    • Blakeney March 28, 2016 / 10:16 pm

      Just what I was thinking! “Jeez for 180-something he sure is spry!” I wish that we could live as long and be in such apparent good health!

  6. Gigi_the cat lady March 28, 2016 / 2:25 pm

    I really really really want to know why they decided to give a bath to a 182 year old turtle for the first time. Why?

    • Not That Mike The Other Mike March 28, 2016 / 2:32 pm

      According to The Telegraph and other sources, Jonathan was being cleaned up in preparation for a visit by an unspecified member of the royal family. Also according to the article, the vet used surgical scrub, a loofah, and a brush.

      • Gigi_the cat lady March 28, 2016 / 3:03 pm

        If it’s for cute little Georges and adorable little Charlotte then OK
        But are Charles and Camilla worth a bath??

        Just kidding, thanks for the info NTMTOM I was genuinely curious ๐Ÿ˜€

      • hilz March 29, 2016 / 9:32 am

        The Queen is coming! Someone wash the turtle!!

  7. Faye March 28, 2016 / 2:37 pm

    I hope someone can tell me if it was safe to wash him. Not nuffing just asking. Could that have been a healthy protective biome living on him? Like our intestinal biome?

    Other than that he is magnificent and it’s an amazing pleasure to see him.

      • Faye March 28, 2016 / 3:13 pm

        Yay! Thank you so much NTMTOM. The article answered all my questions.

        Jonathan must have been thrilled. ๐Ÿข๐Ÿšฟ๐Ÿ›

      • Smartypants March 28, 2016 / 3:52 pm

        Great article – v. comprehensive, and something about the tone is so droll and British.

        Oh, and re the main video – I really like the vet’s pants – they’re like Capri’s for dudes!

        • Annette March 28, 2016 / 4:57 pm

          Manpris. Seriously.

          Thanks for that link, NTMTOM. I was among those wondering if the bath was necessary or advisable. Glad to know it was actually a good thing for him!

  8. Clairdelune March 28, 2016 / 3:24 pm

    Methinks Jonathan is feeling a little naked without his well-aged coating. After all, he was literally carrying his life history on his back. :-/

  9. Lurkingduck March 28, 2016 / 5:19 pm

    B.A. nag: Mike, you might want to change the spelling of the last word in your title.

  10. Mal March 28, 2016 / 5:48 pm

    Time for one of the classics!

  11. Tamara March 28, 2016 / 9:04 pm

    St. Helena?! Jonathan was born a scant 11 years after Napoleon died there during exile!

    • Faye March 28, 2016 / 9:38 pm

      Alison the Five Amigos are looking good. How big are they now? Gorgeous.

      • alison March 28, 2016 / 10:13 pm

        They’re almost too big to hold in one big hand. ๐Ÿ˜ Still smaller than Daisy (chihuahua). We spent the weekend building them an outdoor enclosure. For now they can roam during the day. We need to build a home for sleeping and shelter.

        • Faye March 28, 2016 / 11:02 pm

          They are looking good. Would love to see them some more. ๐Ÿข๐Ÿข๐Ÿข๐Ÿข๐Ÿข

          • alison March 29, 2016 / 12:45 am

            Thank you! You can google @azfamilyzoo and find my instagram. You can look even if you don’t have an instagram account. I try to find extra special photos for ntmtom. He sets the bar pretty high.

            • Faye March 29, 2016 / 8:35 am

              Great. Will Google. ๐Ÿ˜€

              • Faye March 29, 2016 / 8:44 am

                O wow. They look like five sliced pineapples. I love the letter designations on their shells. I wondered how you knew who was who.

                And! Daisy reminds me of my sweet Sammigirl. ๐Ÿ˜

                • Alison March 29, 2016 / 11:45 am

                  We have chihuahua matchkins ๐Ÿ˜Š We took in the tortoises from a family no longer able to care for them. They had the shells marked, it’s sharpie marker, works well.

                  • Faye March 29, 2016 / 4:29 pm

                    Best chihuahua matching ever.

                    Markers. Lol.

    • allein March 28, 2016 / 9:39 pm

      I would be quite surprised if anyone here complained about links to yet more cute stuff.

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