Despite the best efforts of certain scientists and philosophers over the years to develop a breed of superior humanoids, the most common human hybrid at large in the world today is the human-baboon. There seem to be more and more of them every year, loping around the city streets in their basketball shorts and misshapen sneakers. This is why, together with the parlour game Exquisite Corpse, certain exotic aspects of pre-modern era West Indian cuisine, and playing with my extensive collection of Mr Potato Head dolls, the controversial field of Bioethics as always held a great deal of fascination for me. In fact, I think I would have done quite well if I'd chosen the Transhumanist career path in college; hanging around in the lab in my white coat, rolling DNA around in my palm like a ball of Silly Putty; throwing it up to the ceiling to see how long it would stick there. That's a job for life.
But Bioethics isn't always as simple as meeting with your colleagues over coffee to discuss growing a row of human fingers next to the toe patch. As the name implies, practicing this branch of biology inevitably engenders many ethical if impertinent questions from unscientific sections of the community; from those pious souls who still believe in God's creation, for example, and from concerned parents who don't want their steam-punk child getting silicon Devil horns implanted in his skull when he joins an alternative rock band.
But most of us are moral relativists, content to merely cross the street whenever we see some misbegotten lovechild of freakdom and cosmetic surgery walking towards us, secure in the knowledge that there is either a comic book convention around the corner or a rock concert up the road, rather than the profanity made flesh that the appearance of such a creature might have suggested in previous centuries.
In my most idle moments, which occur about eight or nine times a day, I often wonder whether my cardiac bypass counts as Transhuman engineering. It was a rather dramatic restructuring of the natural order, after all. Not that I expect to find myself pursued by angry villagers waving flaming torches anytime soon, of course. My operation was certainly no feat of Promethean medical genius to rival Frankenstein's, just a low-level starter kit operation suitable for Igor or the Baron's nephew. But still, my internal organs were altered by radical scientific intervention, however mundane that intervention may seem when compared to splitting a transgressive artist's tongue into a forked and serpentine fashion accessory.