I don't know about you, but now that the idiotic race to announce the mapping
of the human genome
has been run, I'm impatient for the advantages this feat will bring. Sure, you can talk about curing disease
and identifying potential birth defects
, but come on, I want the gravy, baby. Bodmods
are the wave of the future, and if this doesn't let us do those, what've we been wasting our money on?
The first mod I plan to look for, K-mart shoppers, is a tail. I want a tail. I want a prehensile tail. Think of how useful that would be. Two-fisting beers and you're still able to open the door, fridge, whatever. Think of those moments when you're rewiring the IDE cabling on an infernally cramped minitower (thanks Dell), and while holding back one cable set and trying to plug in the other by touch still being able to hold a flashlight.
Now admittedly, such an option would be possible to abuse. Frottage in public places on unsuspecting victims. Pickpocketing. Cheating at cards (see Londo Mollari and Centauri genitalia for more information). However, on the whole, I believe good, clean fun would be the result of the availability of tails.
This would necessitate some changes in fashion, but in general they'd be easy to deal with. The simple addition of tail slits in most trousers and skirts would be sufficient. More difficult would be chairs, but office chairs with separate back units are fine, and armchairs would just have to be soft enough to curl your tail around to the front without it falling asleep. Car seats are probably the most difficult; however, a lumbar support device with a cavity in it for the tail to curl up in would be a fine interim solution.
Of course, the marketing aspect is huge! I would want a furred tail, akin to a cat, but perhaps that could be an option! You could have a naked tail (better for fine manipulation), or a scaly tail (martial artists are the target market for that one), or even a slick, tentacle-like tail (no tentacle porn jokes, please) for use underwater. Colors could be varied as well; get one that matches your favorite wardrobe! Get one that has your school colors on it! Etc. etc.
Communication of emotions would become so much easier. Think of the eloquence a cat has concerning its mood just through the use of the tail. Feeling threatened or angry? Fluff up the fur on it (if you have fur) or just lash it angrily. Need to signal a friend across the room to meet you at the bar? Point with it. Want to walk down the street with a loved one? Holding hands, pshaw! Hold hands and wrap tails! Out shopping with the kids? "Hold onto my tail, dear, don't get lost."
All in all, I think that tails would be a fine addition to the form the Universe, Evolution or God (whatever your preference) has blessed us with. Now, I want mine prehensile, but perhaps there could be a budget dog-style tail, use just for emotional display. Those would be harder to adjust to seats, but who knows? If you're a dog lover, maybe you'd want to go for this to become closer to your furry friends. Have a parrot/parakeet? Have 'em sit on the tip of your tail, maybe around shoulder level.
If you're really in shape, maybe you could do tail-ups as exercise! Hang from a bar and lift yourself! Use dumbbells for strength training. Just in case of emergency, use your tail to hold on while reaching over a drop-off to help others! Of course, it would be possible to go overboard with this.
You can see how useful these would be, though. Now that we've mapped the DNA sequence of the human, I expect the first availability would be as 'pre-mods' for your children...however, I bet they'll be able to grow you a tail for later implantation using your own DNA to assure a tissue match. And say, while we're on that, maybe I want cat fur on my arms...