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03/30/2011

Whodunit? Who cares? Meet Mr. Thrifty

March 30, 2011 | 12:24 pm

Cp1_0330011051 When we asked a Times security guard if he had a spare lock that could be used to secure a skeleton to a desk, he threw himself against his chair and asked, “It’s not back, is it?”

No, the original “Skelly” that we reported missing about a month ago was never returned to The Times News Obituaries department.  Choosing to own a pirated skeleton strikes us as downright creepy. But we’ve decided to move on.

Mr Skeleton Meet Mr. Thrifty, cheerfully billed on the box as both an “excellent learning tool”  and “frightening Halloween prop!” We hid him away until we could buy a chain at Home Depot, where we asked a clerk for something “strong enough that it would take bolt cutters to break but not so big it would overwhelm a small skeleton on a desk at work.”

Where do you work?” the clerk replied.

We wrapped the 10-foot chain around the skeleton stand and then finagled it  between his right “tibia” and “fibula” -– terms we can freely throw around because of the handy bone guide included with purchase. The last step in our low-tech security system: Wrapping the chain around a desktop and locking the ends together.

At 33-1/4 inches, Mr. Thrifty is at least a head taller than his predecessor. None of the old costumes are going to fit, but a colleague has suggested baby clothes as a potential source of ghoulish garb.

The consensus on the ever-present chain? Everyone seems to agree that it’s an appropriately eerie fashion accessory.

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Have you seen this skeleton?

-- Valerie J. Nelson

Photos: Newly installed Mr. Thrifty, right, stands guard over the News Obituaries department and a photo of his predecessor, Skelly. The box, left, that initially housed our new mascot. Credits: Valerie J. Nelson /Los Angeles Times

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