Montana Cowboy

I could have sworn I had this one already, but this is the best version I've seen, at least.

- - -

A cowboy was overseeing his herd in a remote mountainous pasture in Montana when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced toward him out of a cloud of dust. The driver, a young man in a Brioni suit, Gucci shoes, RayBan sunglasses and YSL tie, 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?"

The cowboy looks at the man, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, "Sure, why not?"

The yuppie parks his car, whips out his notebook computer, makes his smartphone a WiFi hotspot, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he enters his exact location from his GPS receiver to get the most recent image of the field in an ultra-high-resolution photo. The young man then forwards the digital photo to a military image processing facility. Within seconds, he receives an e-mail that the image has been processed and the data stored.

He then accesses an MySQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet and, after just a moment, receives a response. He turns to the cowboy and says, "You have exactly 1,586 animals in this herd."

"That's right," the cowboy says. "Well, a deal's a deal: I guess you can take one of my calves."

He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on with amusement as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.

Then the wise 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, "That sounds fair, why not?"

"You're a U.S. Congressman," says the cowboy with no hesitation.

"Wow! That's correct," says the yuppie, leaning on his still-closed trunk. "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 used millions of dollars worth of equipment paid for by taxpayers 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 herd of sheep. Now give me back my dog."

Posted December 30, 2013

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