Friday, May 27, 2016

Interlude: The Shepherd and the Stranger

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Now there was in that same country a shepherd abiding in the fields, keeping watch over his flock one day. Suddenly a stranger appeared unto him, driving up the road toward him in a brand-new BMW. The stranger stopped his car and stepped out of it carrying an iPad, which he began to play with.

The shepherd approached and said, “Say, that’s a nice car. And a nice gadget.”

The stranger replied, “Yep. And I’m a whiz with this iPad, my friend. In fact, I’ll make a bet with you. If I can tell you how many sheep you have on this hillside, will you give me one of them?”

A little bemused, the shepherd said, “Okay, I guess.”

So the stranger manipulated his iPad, causing a satellite to take a picture of the hillside. The satellite sent an image to an office near the Washington, DC Beltway, where analysts numbered the sheep and sent their results to the stranger, a process which took about half an hour. And the stranger announced the result: “You have three hundred seventy-six sheep.”

“Why, that’s correct,” affirmed the shepherd.

The stranger put away his iPad, picked up an animal, and began with some effort to load it into the BMW. The shepherd watched the stranger with some amusement for a few minutes, then asked, “If I can guess what your occupation is, will you return that critter to me?”

The stranger said, “Okay, give it your best shot.”

The shepherd said, “You, stranger, are a consultant.”

The stranger, astonished, stammered, “But how did you know that?”

The shepherd smiled. “It’s simple. One, you came to my place of business without being asked. Two, you charged me to tell me something I already knew. Three, it’s obvious you don’t know the first thing about my business.

“Now, please, will you give me back my dog?

H/T to Dcn. Jim Galbraith!