Happiness Pony, August 2013


New issue of Happiness Pony out today. Top story: can Justin Duffy kill any animal? Also: Jones on mud, Brown on flour bugs, Benedetti on 1970s BBC archiving policy, Needle on Westworld, Nguyen on Worcester’s collectives, Novick on sustainability, Apostola on the transit hub, and Brian Goslow on the Midtown Mall.

Samuel Beckett Drove André the Giant to School

I’ll tell you an interesting story about André. He couldn’t fit on a schoolbus on the way to school. He told me this. So he had to be driven, in a car, to school every morning. And his parents couldn’t afford one. But his neighbor had a big car. And his neighbor used to drive him to school every day. And I said, “Oh, really?” He said, “Oh yes, he was a very nice man.” I said, well, “Really.” He said, “Yes, yes. You may have heard of him, I don’t know.” I said, “Really? What’s his name?” He goes, “Samuel Beckett.”

Transcribed from actor Cary Elwes’s commentary on the “Princess Bride” dvd. Footnotes by Mike Benedetti. Beckett stencil by Ben Cummings.


1. André Roussimoff, as “André the Giant,” was one of the greatest and most beloved professional wrestlers of all time. He had gigantism, and was claimed to be 7 ft 4 in, 540 lbs.

2. The Roussimoff family farm was in Molien, a village  miles from Paris. André attended school at nearby Ussy-sur-Marne until around 1957, when he dropped out to work on the farm.

3. Irish writer Samuel Beckett was part of the French Resistance against the Nazis and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. He is best known for his play “Waiting for Godot.” According to his friend James Knowlson, in 1953 Beckett took some money from an inheritance and built a house near Molien, which he used as a retreat for the rest of his life.

4. Princess Bride. Great movie. Cary Elwes was the pirate, André was the giant.

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