Miss Jones met Philip Smith at the local college and had an immediate attraction to him. He was promised a room by her as long as she could talk her way round the skulking Rigsby. Miss Jones and Philip had an affair for a while until Philip finally came clean and told her he had 10 wives. He believes Ruth’s reserved qualities are a mere facade, “So reserved?…. You’d be Surprised”, he muses to Alan. Well, you can imagine this came as a huge shock to her. Though she may still have come in useful to Philip, he could have used her as a marker!, according to Rigsby.
Phil’s residency is safe at Rigsby’s, unfortunately for him. Well, if there’s any trouble Alan will be the first to be go as Philip’s got rights. He’s fireproof and from a victimised minority. Who’d have thought Rigsby would be so concerned? From a man who describes him as totally unsophisticated, innocent, credulous and subject to prime evil forces.
Philip Smith came from a noble family with forgotten traditions, “The Skinnin’ men…who are they?” and just happens to be a God, due to the sole fact that his mud hut is bigger than all the others, according to Rigsby’s beliefs. Phil employs ‘Smith’ as his surname, only because his real name is known only to his elders and he refuses to pass it on to anyone else because if a man knows your name he can harm you. Can you blame him? He can only allege that his names ‘taboo’, “Well if is names Taboo why can’t he say so.” Rigsby can’t abhor all this secrecy.
Phil’s certainly not poor and he’s not sick. Well, would you be with boundless remedies from his tribe? and, of course, there’s the Penicillin!” My people believe I’ve inherited supernatural powers” he confesses. His spears and shields, which he proudly displays, used to belong to his ancestors. His powers were confined only to the forest and mainly used for hunting. Besides, his powers, allegedly, are So strong that he’s only got to look at people to impose a curse. Though, Rigsby’s convinced that all Philip’s supernatural beliefs are just a load of old mumbo-jumbo “You don’t frighten me mate!”, furthermore, if he possessed powers all that washing up would have been done by now wouldn’t it!…Mary Poppins. Phil incurred the unkindest cut of all in his upbringing, circumcised at an early age with a blunt knife. “It does make your eyes water a little” in the bush. He also lost his virginity aged 14 and was given tribal marks on the side of his face as part of his initiation ceremony.
He was also boxing champion of his region, much to Rigsby’s surprise, after he decides to take him on in a bout, “God he’ll kill me!”. After a tussle with Rigsby, he decides to stay at Rigsby’s establishment, though he’s used to better things, “I can’t stand this place!” Rigsby was all intent on frightening him out of the room opposite Miss Jones, “I’ve tried bein’ diplomatic. Now I’ll ‘ave to get nasty.”, and finding him a cosier spot sharing with the ever-studious Alan “God…you two never stop readin’.”, in the attic! The son of a Paramount Chief from a liberally cultured family, even his Uncle was a Witch Doctor. Phil’s got 10 wives, “Bl-o-o-dy hell!” Philip relates this situation to like driving in traffic “…you only see the one in front.” We’ll they would do, he lived a far more natural existence, unlike Rigsby “I ‘aven’t been close to nature since last Christmas………wasn’t that close then!”.
Their courting formula was opened by painting themselves, all over, with white stripes whilst hiding in the bushes making little whooping noises next to the river where the women came down to wash the clothes. His father still lives in Africa and sends bottles of ‘Jungle Juice’, “I might ‘ave known it. It’s jungle juice!”, over to Philip at Christmas. Also at the local college where they’re “Soakin’ up the white mans knowledge?”, according to Rigsby’s smugness, Phil’s studying Medicine and, to wind up Rigsby, Town and Country Planning where he hopes to take this knowledge and tarmac jungle where upon the trees will grow in firm, black, velvet, tarmac…oh, and of course, some zebra crossings! Always one to get the upper hand on Rigsby, Rigsby concedes and recoils in defence. Philip, like all tenants, can’t stand Rigsby barging into the room all the time, as with everyone else he thinks he’s mad “He doesn’t stop does he?” The depths he’ll stoop to get an argument with Philip are unbelievable and he’ll always slip in the odd remark in terms of ‘looking on the dark side’, ‘Cannibalism’ and ‘Gone a funny colour’, all for his antagonistic pleasure.
Thankfully Phil is intelligent enough to turn the scales and outwit his warped landlord, always managing to get the last word….just. With all this history then it’s hardly surprising he’s vain, “You have to be good looking…like me.” and Rigsby’s jealous. Saying that though, he had to be wary of some of the members of his community in Africa, especially the men who wore heavy war paint Philip enthuses that his women are more., y’know…”Yes I’ve heard that…. Our’s are always gettin’ headaches!”, because he has his pick of the bunch. Mind you, they still have to do the washing in the streams, pounding stones, and walking for miles with pots on their heads. Philip’s “Lethal with the opposite sex!”, according to Rigsby so it’s no surprise to find him with handfuls of women throughout the years and a young lady at Christmas. Lucy, from Northampton, has been promised a room by Philip. That is after they’ve spent a dirty week-end together over the festive period, though Rigsby’s got other ideas. The only dirty week-ends he used to have were cleaning out the coal shed!
Philip enjoys an evening out wining and dining at, The Grange “Usual table Mr Smith?” a recognised regular of Charlie’s establishment, a trip to the local pub with Alan and Brenda and a visit to the cinemas with Alan. Just as long as they’re not showing ‘Zulu’ again! He’s against pollution and animal cruelty for clothes and luxuries and it’s obscene to him that this goes on in a, supposedly civilised country. In his country killing was a necessity for food and warmth. His main likes, since coming over from the continent, are for telephone boxes and swimming pools. It makes a pleasant change for him swimming without looking out for the crocodiles. He has a distaste for bright colours, his favourite colours black. Though he’d disappear according to Rigsby, “What! Give you a veil of coloured cloth, you’ll dance ’til sunset.”
In REALITY though….. Philip Smith was born in Croydon. He recognises the native tongue of Swahili but can’t speak a word of it and the tribal marks on the side of his face were applied by artificial means in an unknown Arcade. Rigsby still believes, and wants to believe, he’s the son of a chief though, “How do we know you’re not the son of a chief? You’re the son of a chief alright.”