If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?
A rancher named Randy was overseeing his herd in a remote mountainous pasture in California when suddenly a brand-new BMW advances toward him out of a cloud of dust.
The driver, a young man in a Brioni® suit, Gucci® shoes, RayBan® sunglasses, and YSL® tie leans out the window and asks the cowboy, “If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?”
Randy looks at the man, who obviously is a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, “Sure, why not?”
The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell® notebook computer, connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3® cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location, which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultrahigh-resolution photo.
The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop Pro® and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany.
Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot® that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses an MS-SQL® database through an ODBC connected Excel® spreadsheet with email on his Blackberry® and, after a few minutes, receives a response.
Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his high-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet® printer, turns to the rancher and says, “You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves.”
“That’s right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves,” says the rancher.
He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on with amusement as the young man tries stuffing it into the trunk of his car.
Then he says to the young man, “Hey, if I can tell you exactly what you do for a living, will you give me back my calf?”
The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, “Sure, why not?”
“You’re a Congressman for the US government,” says Randy.
“Wow! That’s correct,” says the yuppie, “but how did you guess that?”
“No guessing involved,” answered the rancher. “You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already know, to a question I never asked. You used millions of dollars’ worth of equipment trying to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don’t know a thing about how working people make a living – or about cows, for that matter.
This is a flock of sheep! Now give me back my dog.”