Is the Top of the Refrigerator a Shelf? A Black Supreme Court Decision

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As appointees to the Black Supreme Court, we are often called upon to settle the difficult issues of our time. Over the past two years, this court has found itself smack dab in the center of some of the most contentious cultural debates including:

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But today, we were called upon to issue an emergency decision. Here is our ruling:

Statement of Facts:

This is all you need to know:

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Majority Opinion:

It is the opinion of this court, by a 5-4 decision, that the top of the refrigerator is, indeed, a shelf.

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Not only does Merriam-Webster define a shelf as “a thin flat usually long and narrow piece of material (such as wood) fastened horizontally (as on a wall) at a distance from the floor to hold objects,” but goes on to specify that a shelf is also “something resembling a shelf in form or position.”

The assembled justices listened to oral arguments from Miss Hattie Mae Jenkins, whose refrigerator was topped with framed photos of her trip to the Bahamas, her nephew’s graduation and one Polaroid with a man who Miss Jenkins said “ain’t shit,” but was displayed because she said her “tiddies looked good in that picture.” While the court found her “Shut Up Until You Pay Some Goddamned Rent” oral argument was in direct violation of the defendant’s First Amendment right to free speech, we found her invocation of the Ninth Amendment right to “do whatever the fuck she wanted to do in my house” was both compelling and correct.

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Furthermore, the court received numerous briefs filed in Amicus Curiae, explaining that top of the refrigerator was an appropriate storage place for half-finished bottles of Hennessy, half-eaten boxes of Cap’n Crunch and the $200 blender you swore you were going to use to make smoothies when you started that diet one month before homecoming last year, witcho lying ass.

We also were swayed by the fact that a refrigerator contains shelves, which makes it a shelf-holder. Therefore, even if nothing was placed on the refrigerator, its top would still be thin, flat and fastened horizontally at a distance from the floor.

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Nigga, that’s a shelf.

Dissenting Opinion:

The law of the land must always be based on historical precedent and, in this matter, the majority is wrong.

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In the 1992 ruling Janiah v. Her Mama, the court ruled that Janiah’s ass-whipping was indeed justified when her mother couldn’t find her car keys for two days until they were discovered on top of the refrigerator. That decision was based entirely on the fact that the so-called “friggerater was an inappropriate place for Janiah to put the car keys.

Also, just because the top of the refrigerator can be used as a makeshift storage place does not necessarily mean it rises to the level of “shelf.” Is the hood of a car a shelf? The back of the toilet? That little box on my dresser where I keep my weed? We put things on top of them all the time but they are not shelves. If everything is a shelf, then nothing is a shelf.

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The minority does not argue that a family size box of cereal belongs on top of the refrigerator. We have not checked, but we are pretty sure that’s in the Bible (Ecclesiastes, I think). We also understand that technology has rendered the modern television useless as a storage space, warranting the need for more shelves. Moses did not die on the Calvary to see his children be led astray by such a wrongheaded decision.

We also defer to the standard of common law. If you visit any Walmart or Home Depot and ask for the “shelf” aisle, they will not point you in the direction of the refrigerators. Ikea probably calls shelves something like an Ivarludngren, but if you ask whether you need to defrost it, they will think you were insane.

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Finally, we must remember that this is a Christian nation. When Jesus was nailed to the cross, it was indeed long, narrow, fastened horizontally and held an object. Yet, if you put something on top of the enduring symbol of the structure that crucified the risen Christ, I’m sure an angel would descend from heaven and say:

“Nigga, that’s not a shelf.”

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About the author

Michael Harriot

World-renowned wypipologist. Getter and doer of "it." Never reneged, never will. Last real negus alive.