A self-inflicted wound as per Aisha Tyler: a spectacularly humiliating, and often hilarious, incident entirely of one's own making.
Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heart Warming Tales of Epic Humiliation is a catalogue of the times Aisha Tyler has humiliated herself, starting at the age of five and well beyond her youth. Often these incidents were painful, and definitely embarrassing. These many years later she is able to laugh about them and share them with her audience. It’s hard to imagine this talented, attractive actress whose roles include: Ross Geller’s girlfriend, host of Talk Soup and The Talk, and sexy animated spy of Archer, ever being in a position to spectacularly humiliate herself like the rest of us. But she has!
Aisha’s list of humiliations include: peeing her pants, barfing on a boy she liked, drinking too much wine and breaking her toe, showing off while skiing and breaking her leg, etc, etc. She’s done it all and then some. So don’t feel bad! Even smart, beautiful people do gross/ stupid stuff.
Self-Inflicted Wounds is not a memoir. I learned only superficial information about Tyler and most of that ancient history. She had hippie parents, she was poor growing up, got into Dartmouth, hated working in an office so she became a comic. She was tall and socially awkward as a girl. She worships her dad. Her father taught her to be self-sufficient and resilient. She never let her self-inflicted wounds stop her from reaching her goals. She humiliated herself over and over again on stage until she got it right and people thought she was funny.
Humiliation is not usually my thing, but Aisha Tyler doesn’t seem to be bothered by sharing her stories. The harm she has done is only to herself. So that’s okay. She’s also a great storyteller. I laughed many times. The writing is whip smart too. I particularly liked her observations about humiliation on social media. Like she says, tweeting a stupid thing does not make a person terrible. We all say stupid things, but now people will point it out to us over and over again, because there it is for the world to see.
About the Audio: Aisha Tyler narrates her own book and I would highly recommend listening to the audio over reading the text. Many complaints on Goodreads mentioned the footnotes. These are seamlessly woven into the audio version. I barely noticed these asides. Also, Tyler is a comic and knows about timing and delivery. Reading a joke is different from hearing it. Go with the audio for comedy.