Wishful Drinking

[Carrie Fisher’s stand-up autobiography/memoir, in convenient book format.

I saw this at the Bookstar last night, immediately picked it up and began skimming it. If you can imagine it as her standing on stage saying these things (which is how it started)… it is hilarious.


  • How she had to trace her family roots (and all of her parents’ marriages) to make sure that her daughter wasn’t dating a relative
  • The Leia action figure she discovered that her (now ex) husband had been using as a voodoo doll whenever he was upset with her
  • The actual George Lucas explanation for why there’s no underwear in space

I think I will get it in paperback… or find the original stand-up routine on DVD.

I really want to read this. She’s hilarious. The Onion AV Club wrote it up recently and had some priceless quotes, such as:

“Forty-three years ago George Lucas ruined my life. And I mean that in the nicest possible way. And now, seventy-two years later, people are still asking me if I knew Star Wars was going to be that big of a hit.

Yes, of course I knew. We all knew. The only one who didn’t know was George Lucas. We kept it from him, because we wanted to see what his face looked like when it changed expression—and he fooled us even then. He got Industrial Light and Magic to change his facial expression for him and THX sound to make the noise of a face-changing expression."

As far as I could tell from my skimming through it, the entire thing is like this. The book is not very long, but she makes every sentence count.

I saw a live production of it (she’s doing a traveling theatrical show based on the book) and it is uproariously funny, guys. Seriously, worth your money if she hits your town.

Unfortunately, I was there the night that the entire theater’s sound system died, so she did half the show just sitting on the edge of the stage with no props, lighting, or sound (just shouting the whole thing). And it was still funny as hell.

Yeah, that looks like such a good book. Just reading the reviews, I’m in stitches. I’m glad that she’s been able to carve such a hilarious story out of an utterly traumatic life. I think it’s actually really healthy. Plus it’s fun for the rest of us.

Eh, i don’t know if I’d really call it healthy: she’s had electro-shock therapy to remove various painful memories and adjust her brain chemistry in a pretty dramatic way and then spends two hours on stage playing the miserable fool for other people to look on like a celebrity magazine gone horribly wrong.

There’s coping, and then there’s exploiting yourself.

That said, it’s still brilliant.

Not in Hollywood there isn’t.

There’s a school of thought amongst psychologists that the way you tell your life story both contributes to and reflects your mental healthiness. So being able to turn traumatic events into funny anecdotes is probably healthier than wallowing in the horribleness of it all. I haven’t seen her act so I can’t really say but from what I’ve read, she seems to approach it with good humor.

Please provide evidence for your assertion that the therapeutic goal of her electroshock therapy was to remove painful memories. If I remember correctly, she’s struggled with bipolar disorder, so she may have had electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). As far as I’m aware, however, you don’t use the treatment for memory erasure.

Yeah, seriously. ECT gets a bum rap.

Ain’t nothin’ wrong with a little Edison Medicine.

Might not have been the goal, but it was the end result.

Sure, but that’s not what he said.

Armchair ethics aside, it’s also available in audiobook form, read by Fisher. This is an excellent way to experience it.

That may very well be what I do. The only problem with that is it’ll be missing the handy chart for tracking her family tree. :)

That’s what she said!


My evidence = my recollection of her performance. I am fairly certain that was the spin she put on it: shocking her gray matter till she felt better about her life/past/whatever.

I mean, that was months ago, so if you’re medical knowledge says no, then probably no. shrugs