A farmer was checking his herd on a remote hillside in upper Wensleydale when suddenly a brand-new BMW drew up.
The driver, in a Paul Smith suit, Gucci shoes, Rayban sunglasses and expensive tie, leans out the window and asks Jim, "If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?"
The farmer looks at the man, obviously a well-to-do city slicker, then looks at his peacefully grazing animals and calmly answers, "Of course, why not?"
The man parks his car, whips out his laptop computer, connects it to his mobile phone and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a satellite to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another satellite which scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo. The city slicker then opens the digital photo and exports it to an image-processing facility.
Within seconds he receives an e-mail on his phone that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses a database through a connected spreadsheet with e-mail on his Blackberry and after a few seconds receives a response.
Finally he prints out a full-colour 15-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized printer and finally turns to the farmer and says, "You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves."
"Well, I reckon you can take one of my animals," says the farmer. He watches the well-dressed man select one of the young ones and looks on amused as he stuffs it into the boot of his car.
Then the farmer says, "Now then, if I can tell you exactly what your business is will you give me back my calf?"
The man thinks about it for a couple of seconds and then says, "Okay, why not?"
"You're a consultant," says the farmer.
"Wow! That's correct," says the well-dressed man, "but how did you guess that?"
"No guessing required," answers the farmer. "You show up here even though nobody asked you to; you want to get paid for an answer I already know to a question I never asked; you try to show me how much cleverer than me you are; and you don't know a thing about cows: this is a flock of sheep.
Now give me back my dog."