I’m betting this story has gotten around, but I’ve never heard it, so I’ll pass it along.
A Texas cowboy is tending to his herd in a remote pasture when suddenly a brand-new BMW advances out of a dust cloud towards him. The driver, a young man in a Brioni suit, Gucci shoes, Ray Ban 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?”
The cowboy looks at the man, obviously 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 AT&T cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet where he calls up a GPS satellite navigation system to get an exact fix on his location. He then feeds it to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high resolution photo. The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image-processing facility in Hamburg, Germany. Within seconds, he receives an e-mail on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored.
He then accesses a MS-SQL database through an ODBC-connected Excel spreadsheet with hundreds of complex formulas. He uploads all of this data via an e-mail on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response. Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet printer, turns to the cowboy, 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 cowboy. He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on amused as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car. Then the cowboy says to the young man, “Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?”
The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, “Okay, why not?”
“You’re a consultant for the National Republican Party,” says the cowboy.
“Wow! That’s correct!” says the yuppie, “But how did you guess that?”
“No guessing required,” answered the cowboy. “You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked; you want to take something from a hard-working person and give it to someone who’s already rich; and you don’t know anything about my business. You act like you own the world and like you know what you’re doing when you are truly clueless. Now give me back my dog.”