Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Dude, Where's My Tail?

Krissy woke me up the other morning for food and petting as she always does. I lay there petting her for a while, and then she decided it was time for breakfast and gracefully leapt off my bed and onto the floor. This got me thinking about an old episode of Star Trek: Next Generation in which Data writes a poem for his cat, Spot. Specifically this line:

"A tail is quite essential for your acrobatic talents; you would not be so agile if you lacked its counterbalance."

File this one under Amber's More Bizarre Thoughts if you must. But I suddenly became very concerned about the whereabouts of my tail. What happened to it? Where did it go? And when? I started listing the other mammals I could think of that had tails: monkeys of course, and cats, dogs, cows, giraffes, pigs, even whales. But I am a mammal and I have no tail. What gives?

The obvious answer, of course, is that humans don't need tails. Which is fair enough, but it doesn't explain the cows. What is a cows tail for? It doesn't help with balance or propel it through water or anything. All they do is use it to swat at flies. I mean, that's barely even useful. But I could use it for that too, if I had one. It would be nice to have something to smack at mosquitoes with when I have a beer in one hand and a beanbag in the other, no?

The bartender did not want to have this conversation with me (shocking, I know). "We never had tails," he announced. "We came from apes. Apes don't have tails."

"But they DID," I argued. "Once upon a time humans apes, monkeys - we were all they same. Now some of us have tails and some of us don't. It's totally unfair."

I want my tail back. I have a tailbone, what is the point of that if I'm not going to also have a corresponding tail? Seriously, I think we got gyped.

1 comment:

monogodo said...

I've got two words for Data with regards to the line you quoted:

Manx cat.