Name your sources or begone!

It wasn't a fight. More like a minor confrontation.

I was pouring myself a soda at my local McDonald's on Sunday when I heard a man telling a couple who I know fairly well that "President Trump is going to make a great Supreme Court pick."

The couple - McDonald's regulars who I see almost every day - were reading the newspaper. The man was standing besdie their table, shifting from one foot to another. Restless. Anxious. 

"You think so?" the husband asked.

"President Trump says he's going to make the best pick ever," the man said.

"You believe everything that man says?" the wife asked with a chuckle.

"I believe him," the man said, undeterred. "And you know what else? I hear that Justice Ginsburg doesn't even write her own briefs anymore. She has interns doing it. She needs to retire, too."

"Actually," the wife said, "all of the justices rely on law clerks for drafts of their opinions. It's a totally normal thing."

"Oh yeah?" the man asked. 

"Yeah," the husband replied. 

Stymied, the man returned to his coffee on the other side of the restaurant. 

I was so annoyed. I wanted in on this conversation. I wanted to debate. I was armed and ready. I was also angry that the couple hadn't told the man that justices wrote opinions. Not briefs. Also, justices have law clerks working for them. Not interns.

I hate missed opportunities.

After topping off my soda, I turned to the couple, who were both still smirking. I wished them a good day, and they wished me luck in the golf course.

"I've already played," I said. "Poorly as usual."

Then the man was back, reappearing without me even seeing him approach. "Another thing," he said. "I hear that Justice Ginsberg falls asleep on the bench. Can you believe that? Time for her to retire if you ask me."

I looked up. I stared. He was looking down at the couple, but all I needed was a little eye contact and I would be in. "C'mon. Look over here," I willed. "Please."

Then it happened. He glanced over at me. We locked eyes for a moment. He acknowledged my presence. It was on.

"You heard?" I asked. "Who did you hear this from?" 

"Huh?" the man asked. I think my entry into the conversation surprised him. He wasn't expecting me to speak. It was a sneak attack.

"I'm wondering who told you this?" I asked. "Did you know that every Supreme Court session has a gallery of court reporters and public observers? Did you know that RBG exercises every day. Pushups and planks and squats and bench presses. Cardio, too. It's well documented. And before Scalia died, she went hunting with him regularly. Hardly sounds like someone asleep at the bench."

"That's not what I heard."

"Who?" I asked. "Who did you hear this from? Name your source." 

"People," he said.

"Who?" I pressed, politely but insistently. "C'mon. Someone told you Ruth Bader Ginsberg sleeps at the bench. Who told you?"

"Whatever," the man said, slinking away.

Maybe not slinking, but I like to think that he was slinking. Either way, he beat a hasty retreat back to his coffee, perhaps to regroup.

The husband offered me a surreptitious thumbs up, and I nodded back and left.

Not a fight. Barely a confrontation. 

But so much fun.