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Ask Phil: Now this is a story …

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Phil Weekender columnist

Dear Phil,

Now this is the story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down. And I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there, I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel-Air.

In west Philadelphia born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of my days. Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool and all shooting some b-ball outside of the school. When a couple of guys, they were up to no good. Started making trouble in my neighborhood. I got in one little fight and my mom got scared, and said, “You’re moving with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air.”

I begged and pleaded with her day after day. But she packed my suitcase and sent me on my way. She gave me a kiss and then she gave me my ticket. I put my Walkman on and said, “I might as well kick it.”

First class, yo, this is bad. Drinking orange juice out of a champagne glass. Is this what the people of Bel-Air living like? Hmm, this might be alright.

But, wait, I hear they’re prissy, bourgeois, and all that. Is this the type of place that they just sent this cool cat? I don’t think so. I’ll see when I get there. I hope they’re prepared for the prince of Bel-Air.

Well, the plane landed and when I came out there was a dude who looked like a cop standing there with my name out. I ain’t trying to get arrested yet.

I just got here. I sprang with the quickness like lightning, disappeared.

I whistled for a cab and when it came near the license plate said “Fresh” and it had dice in the mirror. If anything I could say that this cab was rare, but I thought, “Nah, forget it.”

“Yo, homes, to Bel-Air!”

I pulled up to the house about 7 or 8 and I yelled to the cabbie, “Yo, homes, smell ya later.”

I looked at my kingdom, I was finally there. To sit on my throne as the Prince of Bel-Air.

Phil, I have an uncle named Phil; maybe that’s why I feel comfortable enough to lay out my story like this. What should I do? I know I sound like a fresh prince in Bel-Air, but I’m more comfortable back in Philly. I’m grateful for everything Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv have done, but my cousin Carlton is whack. I gotta get out of here, right?

– Will


Thanks for reaching out. It’s great to get some Pennsylvania blood here in Ask Phil.

Hey, I totally get it.

It’s hard to move away from home. Especially moving from Philly to Bel-Air. That’s quite the hike.

Fresh Prince, let me tell you a little story that might be able to help you out. I think you can relate to it.

See, I have this friend, Jon, who didn’t exactly fit in with his family. His mother hated his guts and he always bumped heads with his siblings.

You see, they all thought he was a bastard, but that wasn’t the case. He was really their nephew/cousin, but his uncle, who everyone thought was his father, was holding on to the truth of Jon’s lineage for everyone’s safety.

I think. I’ll let you know for sure in 2019.

You know what, that part of the story doesn’t really pertain to what we’re talking about. Plus, it would take me roughly nine years to completely fill you in.

Anyway, my friend Jon, he gets it. He understands he doesn’t quite fit in. So he decides to leave and join the military.

He goes north to the very end of the country’s border to join this special watch. Basically he helps keep the rest of the country safe from outside threats.

But while Jon is away, one by one his family gets picked off. His mother, father, eldest brother and one of his younger brothers is killed. And his home is ransacked and taken over.

Now Jon doesn’t know this of course, because he has his own challenges to face while he’s away.

After working his way through the ranks, Jon is named the commander of his watch. But that title doesn’t last long as his fellow watch members try to overthrow him but ultimately are unsuccessful.

Soon Jon gets a visit from his sister, who is actually his cousin even though neither of them know it. So Jon decides to give up his title as commander and together they decide to go back home.

But when they get there, Jon finds out that it’s hardly the home he left years ago. He can’t even recognize it anymore. Mainly because it’s been taken over by neighboring families. But still.

You see, Will, things change over time. And that means your home back in Philly probably will too.

Sure, your cousin Carlton might be whack, but like you said, your Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv have done a lot for you. You live in a huge house with a pool. And didn’t you say you have a butler? That’s pretty cool.

Yes, it’s not Philly, and that will take some time getting used to. Especially considering the Eagles just won the Super Bowl and the 76ers might be next. But give Bel-Air a chance.

Jon wasn’t comfortable in his new surroundings at first. In fact, he was treated pretty poorly. But he ended up working his way to the top.

If you continue to grind it out in Bel-Air and tolerate your cousin, who knows what’s in store.

In fact, I bet if you stick it out, you’ll find you like California. And when everyone’s ready to move on with their lives, you might stick behind.

I hope this helps,


Phil Weekender columnist Weekender columnist

By Phil

[email protected]

Reach Phil at 570-991-6398 or on Twitter @ByDJEberle.

Reach Phil at 570-991-6398 or on Twitter @ByDJEberle.