A few weeks ago, I found myself clubbing in DC with two friends, Emily and Justin. Near the night’s end, we decide to hit up the local McDonald’s before Ubering home. This became the first time I tasted McDonald’s 24/7 breakfast menu in all its egg McMuffin glory.
The three of us find a booth and have only unwrapped our bacon McDoubles (okay, Justin got that; I certainly got the egg McMuffin) when we’re accosted by a gangly, older man. He points at Emily and starts screaming and clapping.
“Guys!” he proclaims in a thick accent. “If I liked women, then she would be my queen! She is so beautiful! Isn’t she so beautiful!?”
Now Emily is attractive, but I don’t think anyone on this planet is worthy of the 1 AM hysteria we are witnessing. But Emily goes with it.
“Yes!” she says. “I’m a queen, and you’re a king!”
For some reason she stands up to do a twirl with this man. Next thing I know, this man has taken her seat and has his leg pushed up against mine.
“Isn’t she beautiful?” he purrs into my ear.
Me: “Yes. Yes, she is.”
The King: “What are you all up to? Want to go to the dick club?”
His exact words. “The dick club.”
Me: “We’re heading home actually.”
The King: “You’re such a pretty boy.”
OMG, I’m being hit on in a McDonald’s at 1 AM.
Justin unwraps his second bacon McDouble. Emily decides to order more food. The King wraps his arm around me. My eyes plead with Justin. He chews.
The King: “You’re not going out?”
Me: “We already were out.” I would pull away, but I am between the King and a wall.
The King grabs hold of my wrist. Now I usually wear bracelets on my one hand, and tonight is no exception. I’m wearing a $5 seashell bracelet I purchased in Miami and another leather bracelet I ordered for $15 off Amazon. The King fiddles with the seashell bracelet momentarily before he slips it right off my wrist and onto his.
My world teeters.
Am I being pickpocketed in this McDonald’s at 1 AM?
Me: “You can’t have that…”
The King uncoils his arm from me, and I think he’s going to just walk out with my bracelet, but he doesn’t leave the booth. He asks us our names. Justin indulges him while my eyes are glued to his wrist.
Me: “Can I have that back?”
I feel like I’m back in preschool and another kid has stolen my toy. I’m deliberating between aggression to regain my bracelet or pretending I don’t actually care and he’ll give it back, because this 50-year-old man does remind me of a child.
The King: “Only if you go to the dick club with me.”
Seriously? You’re going to try to barter with me?
Me: “I’m going home, though. I’m tired.”
The King: “You’re tired? I just got back from South Africa!”
His wrist is exposed. I lunge and seize the bracelet. I almost have it off his wrist before he snatches it, and there is a temporary tug-of-war.
The King: “Do you want it to break?”
The King: “It’s mine.”
I could give it up, it was only $5, but I like that bracelet. And I can’t just fly down to Miami to get another one. My mom would chastise me, I know. She constantly reminds me, “If someone asks for your wallet, you give it to them.” But if they ask for my bracelet – well, this b*tch didn’t ask.
Me: “Fine, you can have it.”
The King smirks at me. “You’re so cute.”
I bodily turn from him to Justin, exasperated.
“The queen!” the King screams. “The queen!”
Emily caws, “The king! The king!”
They actually stand up and hug. Here is a picture Justin snapped of their moment together.
I try texting Emily, “Please get my bracelet back,” but the King retakes his seat and peers onto my phone. I backspace and smirk back at him.
The King: “Let’s go to the dick club!” At some point he actually kisses my cheek.
Justin opens his four pack of chicken nuggets. Emily bites into her McChicken.
Emily: “So what’s your story, King?”
The King: “I just got back from South Africa. I’m so tired. I was visiting my two daughters.”
Us: “Are you visiting here?”
The King: “No, I live here! I’ve lived here for 17 years – ”
I grab for my bracelet again. The King maintains his grip on it.
“Nah-ah,” he sings. “I’ll give it to you at the club.”
Me: “It’s just…it means a lot to me. My mom gave it to me. And I’m afraid I won’t get it back.”
“Your mom gave it to you?” The King’s head drops to the table. He is crying. “No more talk of moms! Here, take it! It is from your mom.” He relinquishes the bracelet. “My mom is dead.”
Emily: “We’re so sorry.”
The King lightens up. “It is fine.” He puts his f*cking arm around me again. “Let’s go to the dick club!”
Me: “We’re going home—”
Abruptly he has snatched my other bracelet off my hand.
Me: “What – that’s from my dad!”
The King pouts at me.
Me: “You could buy yourself some – ”
The King: “See, you bought them!”
Me: “I mean, my parents bought them for me…”
Justin: *finishing a McChicken now* “Our Uber is here.”
The King: “Don’t go! I own four houses. You can stay at one of my places. Come out with me!”
Me: “If you give me my bracelet back.”
Justin: *stares at the King*
Emily: *way too eager* “We’ll go out with you tomorrow!”
Me: “Only if you return my bracelet.”
Emily: “What’s your number?”
Is she for real?
They actually exchange numbers. The King throws his phone into my face. “Is this her number?”
Me: “Yes, that actually is her number.”
He hands me my bracelet. I put it back on and don’t take my hand off my wrist.
The King follows us as we exit the McDonald’s. “Are you sure you don’t want to go the dick club with me?” he asks. “You can stay in one of my houses!”
“Tomorrow!” Emily says.
“Never,” I think.
Justin: “This is our Uber.”
Emily: “Bye, King!”
The King blows kisses at us. “Bye, you all! See you tomorrow!”
We get into the Uber. “Lock the doors, please!” I demand to the driver. “Please lock the doors and just drive!”
Justin: “Emily, what the eff?”
Me: “Please drive!”
As we pull away, I see the King disappear into an unmarked door two houses down from the McDonald’s.