The term 'Mudshark' refers to a member of The Grand and Loyal Order of Mudsharks (and Associated Boneless Fish...) and has absolutely no sexual connotations, despite references in the lyrics of the Frank Zappa song, 'The Mudshark'.
The Grand and Loyal Order of Mudsharks began life in the late 1970s as a student charities organisation, collecting for local causes in the Aberdeen area. After some barbecues for famine relief in the late 1980s/early 1990s, they bowed to the inevitable and became a fully-fledged drinking club1.
A beaver2 of Mudsharks meets three times a year at the Triannual Binge. Membership is strictly by invitation of an existing member and each potential new member is voted in (or not) by a majority of the attendees of the first Binge to which they are brought. A Mudshark is obliged to meet with other members of their beaver three times a year, in order to drink, eat3, drink some more, chant a little, vote on awards for subjects as diverse as malpractice to carpets (The Malpractice du Carpet award) and sexual impropriety (an award known as the Fama Clamosa) and continue drinking. Only unlikely excuses for non-attendance are accepted. New members (or extremely inebriate veterans) may be talked into inviting everyone to take a carry-out back to their place for an Aprés-Binge, where the drinking continues until supplies run out.
There are three main levels of Mudsharkdom; the Ordinary Mudshark who carries one vote in all proceedings, the Raspberry Picker4 with two, and Founder Members who hold three votes. Within the ranks of Raspberry Pickers there are office-holders such as Scribe and Junior Scribe5, whose tasks include the peeling of the sacred beer mats in order to record the results of the evening's voting.
People and places with a tenuous connection to strange drinking experiences can be accepted by majority vote as honorary Mudsharks - Douglas Adams was an honorary Mudshark of many years standing (lurching, slouching...) as is Stonehenge.
The Mudsharks started out in Aberdeen, Scotland, but have spread out a little since then, with members emigrating to several different continents and spawning their own beavers6. One aspect of this internationalisation which has crept in over the past decade is the Superbinge Saving Scheme, where Mudsharks who choose to can put a little away in a communal bank account every month by standing order and when enough has collected they either go for a short drinking holiday in an exotic location (one recent example at the time of writing being four days in Prague) or a longer holiday in less exotic (cheaper) climes. Another recent example being eight days in and around Normandy, in a brave attempt to drink the region dry of cider!
For further details, check out the official web presence at http://www.Mudsharks.org - tell them 'Peep sent you'...!