Bad to the Bone

Photo of two skeletons and a student
Thomas and Vinny helping a student study for his anatomy exam

Have you ever looked into the windows of the Learning Lab at Henry Ford College and seen a couple of skeletons staring back at you? Have they been dressed in funky clothes, or positioned in an entertaining way? If so, then you’ve witnessed Thomas and Vinny in action.

There are several skeletons found around campus, often arranged in a captivating manner, aimed at catching the attention of students and staff passing by. They grin; they wave; they do just about anything to distract the foot traffic. “We like to get under people’s skin, but in a good way,” Thomas joked. “For example, I like to play dead. You would not believe how many people I’ve gotten to look at me!” For Halloween, the two dressed up as cowboys, equipped with hats and lassos; it was a huge hit. “Those two are so hilarious,” a pedestrian remarked, “They make me laugh so hard I feel like I’m dying.” There have been many successful costumes throughout the years, but this one certainly tickled everyone’s funny bone.

Their charismatic features have made Thomas and Vinny very popular. “We get visitors from all over campus. Some have never even been to the Learning Lab before,” Thomas described. “It’s great because we can show people how we live, or, rather, how we don’t!” Students who stop by for a quick conversation usually end up staying for hours on end. “I always put on some tunes with heavy trombone and, naturally, people start getting pretty into it. The only “taste” I have is in music,” Vinny said. Occasionally a dance-off breaks out, but some people don’t have the guts to participate.

Some people don’t understand the humor. “Halloween should be limited to one day a year,” said student Hannah Sullivan, who detested the cheesy decorations. They are often considered a distraction that, when faced with the challenges of college, just isn’t needed. Several students would prefer that the skeletons either stay hidden or act accordingly, meaning, as one student put it, “Don’t be a numb-skull.” Luckily, neither Thomas or Vinny take any of the criticisms very seriously. “I don’t have a bone to pick with anybody. I let the negativity go right through me,” Vinny said.

The best part about the skeletons is that they attract positive attention to the Learning Lab. “Many students fail to recognize all of the resources offered, so we do what we can to draw people here to get the help they need,” Thomas said, “After all, how else are you going to know a clavicle from a patella.”

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