A farmer named Sid is overseeing his stock in a remote moorland pasture in
North Yorkshire when suddenly a brand-new BMW advances towards 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 farmer, ‘If I tell you exactly
how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?’
Sid looks at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looked at his peacefully
grazing stock 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 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 an MS-SQL database
through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with email on is 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,’ says Sid.
He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on with
amusement as the young man stuffs it into the back of his car.
Then Sid 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 Member of Parliament for our Government’, says Sid.
‘Wow! That’s correct,’ says the yuppie, ‘but how did you guess that?’
‘No guessing required.’ answers Sid. ‘You show up here even though nobody’s
called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already know, to a question
I haven’t asked.
You use millions of pounds 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.’