"It's a man-kilt. I'm getting in touch with my authentic Highland roots."
Pierce dropped his books on the table, then rested his foot on his chair and leaned forward with his arms propped on his thigh. Next to him, Shirley gave a startled cry and clapped her hands over her eyes. Annie patted her back as she stared pointedly at the far side of the room.
"I'm pretty sure all kilts are man-kilts, Pierce." Jeff took another picture with his phone then tucked it away in his pocket. No telling when something might come in handy at some future date. "Otherwise they'd be skirts."
Pierce kept staring off into the middle distance like he was already trying out for the Greendale production of Braveheart (tickets only $7 with a canned good donation!). "You know, you should get one, too," he told Jeff. "Your bad mood is probably because your junk's all bunched up."
In case anyone asked, Jeff's junk was just fine. All right, so maybe part of the problem might have been that no one was actually asking. Or that the last time he'd been, uh, unbunched was at the Halloween party.
There was no way he was going to put on a skirt and go sashaying through the halls though.
Abed listened to his ranting with his head cocked to one side, then closed the valve on the still and handed Jeff another drink. "You don't really have the legs for a kilt anyway. Pierce isn't too bad. Troy would look better, of course, but you have legs like a six foot chicken."
"Are you saying I look like Big Bird?"
"Of course not."
"Big Bird's legs are much more muscular than yours."
So maybe he checked to see if his dwindling savings account would stretch far enough to order a Utilikilt off the internet.
It wouldn't, by the way.
"Hold still!" Shirley glared up at Jeff with a mouthful of pins and a dangerous expression. "Don't think I won't use these on sensitive areas."
"How is it I can understand every word you're saying?"
Troy stopped admiring himself in the full-length mirror long enough to say, "It's creepy how she does that, isn't it? Like those weird old-timey puppet things in the Disney commercials."
Shirley was pinning up a hem and shaking her head. Jeff asked in a stage whisper, "Does he mean Muppets? How old am I?"
"Honey, I stopped asking that when my oldest asked me if we had DVDs during the Depression."
Britta's hand was cold through his sleeve. When she pulled it away, he rubbed the spot. Backstage was freezing, like standing in the middle of a meat-packing plant. He kept waiting for Rocky to come lumbering through on his way to practice, or maybe that was just because Abed wouldn't shut up about how if they were in a meat-packing planet, Rocky might come lumbering through on his way to practice.
"Jeff," Britta said, knocking all thoughts of Stallone in bulky sweats somewhere to the upper middle of his mind. Normally it might go to the back, but he always was a sucker for the classics. "I just wanted to say it's really sweet of you to come through for Annie and Abed like this. I still can't believe half the cast got food poisoning the day the show was supposed to open."
"Yeah, isn't it weird how you can't even trust sushi made by Starburns and that weird-looking guy who cleans the bathrooms?"
"You know, I think I heard the dean say that guy wasn't even a janitor? Anyway, break a leg!"
Pierce was waiting for him in the wings when he finished his final scene.
"What'd I tell ya?" Pierce beamed. "No more bunching! Feels great, doesn't it?" He did a couple of the squats he'd been horrifying them with all week, before apparently remembering that the nice campus security officer had told him to stop before he called the real cops.
"Thank you soooo much for your help," Annie squealed in his ear after the final curtain call. "You really saved the show!"
"Definitely," Abed agreed. "You're like Lyla Garrity rushing down to Mexico to rescue Jason Street from himself. Maybe with less almost-drowning though."
Jeff headed for the dressing rooms/home ec kitchens. "Look, just because I agreed to play Princess Isabella this one time doesn't mean you can just lump me in with every sultry young lady who pops into your head."
He dropped the heavy skirts of his costume. "Wait, I think that came out wrong."
"One time?!" Annie burst out, her lower lip already starting to quiver. "But we need you here tomorrow for the matinee!"
Abed nodded. "Yeah, the photographer from the Post wants pictures of the performance."