A farmer was overseeing his animals on a remote field, when suddenly a
brand-new BMW speeds up the farm track towards him.
The driver, a young man in an Armani suit, Gucci shoes, RayBan sunglasses
and YSL tie, leans out the window and asks the farmer: "If I tell you
exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, Will you give me a
The farmer looks at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looks at his
peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers: "Aye, 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 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 email 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 email on his Blackberry and, after a few
minutes, receives a response.
Finally, he prints out a full-colour, 150-page report on his hi-tech,
miniaturized HP LaserJet printer, turns to the farmer and says: "You have
exactly 1,586 cows and calves."
"That's right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves," replies the
He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on amused as
the young man stuffs it into the boot of his car.
Then the farmer 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 replies: "Okay, why
"You work for DEFRA", says the farmer.
"Wow! That's correct," says the yuppie, "But how did you guess that?"
"No guessing required," answered the farmer. "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 tried to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don't know a
thing about cows - this is a herd of sheep now give me back my dog