A good, cheap skeleton will put your average school system back somewhere around $250 (with shipping). Ol’ Buck, all 5-foot-6 of him, is made of plastic, of course.
Another feature of Ol' Buck? You don’t have to go through the trouble of burying him once you’re done studying him.
A bunch of school kids and their teachers at Haydock High School — which sits between Liverpool and Manchester in the central portion of the United Kingdom — went through the slow walk-with-heads-bowed thing earlier this week when an old classroom skeleton was found to be something other than plastic.
It was the real thing. A decades-old human skeleton.
Well, minus both arms and a leg.
From the Liverpool Echo:
The school laid on a funeral for Arthur after discovering that they could not dispose of the skeleton legally without a proper burial.
Pupils and teachers followed the hearse to Greenacre Woodland Burials for the ceremony.
Four year-nine pupils lowered the wicker coffin into the ground while roses were tossed in and tributes paid.
Arthur (of course somebody named him) had been replaced by a plastic model and had sat, unused, in a closet for several years. “It did look a little bit worse for wear,” one of the teachers at the school said of the skeleton.
Teachers asked a nearby funeral home to determine whether Arthur was plastic or not. The folks at the Haydock Funeral Service, after consulting with some forensic friends, came back with the answer.
Arthur was, at one time, a real, live person from India. He stood between 4-foot-11 and 5-1. And he died somewhere between the ages of 24-31.
He came to the United Kingdom, those around the school surmise, as a kind of exchange skeleton decades ago for use in science classes. When the new, plastic skeleton arrived, Arthur was shipped over to the arts department for drawing classes. From there, he made his way into a closet, until a teacher recently re-discovered him.
“We always just thought he was plastic,” one of the students told the Echo.
The funeral was held Thursday at Greenacre Woodland Burials on a typically gray kind of English day.
“It’s a beautiful place of burial,” Keely Thompson, marketing and community liaison at Greenacre Burials, told the Echo, “nestled between emerging orchard trees and overlooking the rolling countryside.”
Ol’ Buck will never have it so good.