I don’t know who wrote this originally. If you do know, drop me a line so I can attribute this properly. Anyway, even though this was obviously written to be humorous, it is uncannily and unnervingly true. True, in the deeper sense of what true is. I’ve edited the story in order to bring it up to technological and grammatical speed.
Bud the Cowboy
An old cowboy named Bud was overseeing his livestock in a remote mountainous pasture in Montana when suddenly a brand-new BMW came racing toward him out of a cloud of dust. The driver, a young man in an expensive suit, leaned out the window and asked the cowboy, “If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?”
Bud looked at the man, who obviously is from the city, and then looked at his peacefully grazing herd.
“Sure,” he said calmly. “Why not?”
The young man parked his car, whipped out his smartphone and surfed to a NASA page on the Internet. There, he called up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location which he then fed to another NASA satellite with long-range imaging capabilities. The NASA satellite took a photo of their location and sent it via high-speed microburst to a server in North Carolina. The young man then downloaded the file to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany. Within seconds, he received an email on his smartphone that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then created an Excel spreadsheet and printed out a full-color, 150-page report on his miniaturized HP LaserJet printer. Finally, the young man turned to the cowboy and said, “You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves.”
“That’s right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves,” said Bud.
He watched the young man select one of the animals and looked on with amusement as the young man stuffed it into the trunk of his car.
Then Bud said 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 thought about it for a second and then said, “Okay, why not?”
“You’re a Congressman with the U.S. Government”, said Bud.
“Wow! That’s correct,” said the young man. “How did you guess that?”
“No guessing required,” answered the old 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 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.”