André the Giant, Your Ride Is Here


After her previous appearance on this blog, my friend Kitty chastised me, feeling that she’d been made to look like an idiot. “It’s your job to make me look good,” she said. “Didn’t you know that?” Let me rectify the situation by relating a piece of trivia I told her that I thought would impress her since she’s a professional-grade literary sort:

According to Cary Elwes, who heard the story from his gargantuan co-star during the filming of The Princess Bride, while living in France, Irish writer Samuel Beckett was the next-door neighbor of André René Roussimoff, who would become better known as professional wrestler André the Giant. André was too large to fit onto the school bus, but his parents didn’t own a car, so Beckett drove him to school every day.

Not being an idiot, she immediately seized on the part of that story that doesn’t make sense: “One thing that I don’t understand: if he was too big to fit into a bus, how on earth did he fit into a car?” Good point. I’d wondered that myself.

I talked this over with a couple of people. Dickolas Wang suggested that it was probably a matter of legroom. André probably just couldn’t fit into a child-sized bus seat. But in a car, you could you put him in the front passenger seat and put it back as far as possible. Or you could have him recline across the back seat. If the car was a convertible, you could even leave the top down and give him unlimited headroom too.

I’m not sure, though. I do know that as an adult, André solved his legroom problems by driving a customized Lincoln Continental with the front seat positioned around where the back would normally be, kind of like in Police Academy when Hightower practices for his driving test by ripping the front seat out of a Honda Civic and driving from the back seat. I don’t see why they couldn’t have done something similar on a bus. Why not just remove a bench seat and give him a designated spot where he could stretch out and enjoy the ride?

Maybe some sort of bureaucratic regulations precluded this. But the theory I prefer is this: In France, school buses are built at a child-sized scale, which makes them substantially more fuel-efficient and cost-effective. To eliminate the necessity of building buses large enough to accommodate adults of normal size as drivers, midgets are hired for this purpose.

Anyone know if this is true? If not, it should be. This plan could potentially save a lot of money in fuel and provide good job opportunities to little people. This is definitely worth thinking about.

3 Responses to “André the Giant, Your Ride Is Here”

  1. 1 Riley

    Wasn’t Andre’s giantism caused by his pituitary gland never shutting off? If that’s the case (as it is with most giants), then he should have been relatively normal sized as a kid, at least vertically.

  2. 2 Dave Again

    Beckett owned a truck which would have provided the legroom for Andre.

  1. 1 Esperando a André: cuando Samuel Beckett llevaba al cole al gigante de La princesa prometida | Cooking Ideas

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