Credit where credit's dubious

'You could program yourself to like Italian cooking. But not polenta. Science has not cracked that one yet'
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The Independent Online

You may have read recently that scientists have now succeeded in mapping the human genome, giving them access to all our genes and DNA. You may have thought to yourself, "Well, that's all very well. It may benefit some power-crazed group of millionaire scientists in the USA, but is any good going to trickle down to little old me?"

You may have read recently that scientists have now succeeded in mapping the human genome, giving them access to all our genes and DNA. You may have thought to yourself, "Well, that's all very well. It may benefit some power-crazed group of millionaire scientists in the USA, but is any good going to trickle down to little old me?"

And the answer is: yes!

Because today I am bringing you a once-in-a-lifetime chance to acquire a very special sort of credit card.

The Genome Gold Card.

A card that not only does all the things that normal credit cards do, but allows you to access your own genome.

How on earth can it do that?

Well, the Genome Gold Card is not an ordinary gold card. It is a fully automated, electronically programmed card that can perform many functions, including accessing your own genome.

Why would I want to do that?

To find out how credit-worthy you are. The new Genome Gold Card can give an instant read-out on your genetic make-up and will tell you if you are genetically likely to be a good credit risk: honest, regular in payments and so on.

Who would want to know that?

We would.

Who's "we?"

Genome Direct.

Who's Genome Direct?

The new bank that's behind your Genome Gold Card.

And what if I find out that I am by nature a bad saver and dishonest?

That's the beauty of the Genome Gold Card! With access to your genome, you can for the first time easily change your genetic predispositions and become more honest and a better saver overnight! All you need do is make certain changes in the settings on your Gold Card and input them to your genome.

Can I use my Genome Gold Card to make other genetic changes?

Certainly! You can "inherit" resistance to cold, stamina, a smaller nose and many other predispositions. And not just for the big things, either. For example, if you found you were naturally antipathetic to Italian cooking, you could make yourself genetically programmed to enjoy it. Imagine how that would change your evenings out!

Could I learn to like polenta?

No. Science has not cracked that yet.

Would my Genome Gold Card be like other gold cards in other respects?

You mean, would it be able to scrape frost off car windscreens and spread butter on bread at a picnic where you had forgotten all the cutlery? Of course!

Well, I was really thinking of things such as getting money from cash machines...

That, too. It can also act as a pager and bleeper and text-sender and all those things. Don't forget that, as it is in touch with your body via the genome, you can now send messages to and get messages from your own body!

What sort of messages would my body send me?

"We think you've had quite enough for one evening," or, "Isn't it time you took some exercise?" or, "Liver overload! Liver overload!"

What sort of messages could I send my body?

"Shut up!"

You say I can use my Genome Gold Card to change my genetic make-up for the better. But surely I can also do it for the worse. I might, for reasons I can't think of for the moment, want to predispose myself to wicked actions, or to be less tolerant and more hard-headed.

We would immediately withdraw all credit facilities.

How would you know I was doing it?

We intend to keep 24-hour surveillance on all our customers.

Why?

Because we have to be very, very careful whom we hand out Genome Gold Cards to. We have predisposed ourselves to be ultra-cautious.

Genetically?

Of course.

I am convinced. I would like one of these new Genome Gold Cards.

Then simply tick one of the following boxes and send in your application!

* Please grant me an interview appointment to get a Genome Gold Card.

* Yes, I think I may have room in my wallet for another gold card.

* I have no more room in my wallet but I am happy to chuck out a card to make way for the Genome Gold Card.

* I am naturally predisposed to be very suspicious of offers like this. Please help me to change genetically.

Genome Direct. The Bank of the Future.

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