Greg's Occasional News & Views

9 February 2020 – Amusements

The homework assignment for my Spanish class was to write a paragraph. When I returned their papers, I asked one student if he had used Google Translate or any other online translator to write his paper.

He categorically denied doing so.

That led to my next question, “Then why is this paper in French?”


On my 40th birthday I waltzed out of my bedroom dressed in an old outfit I dug out of the back of the closet.

“I wore this on my 30th birthday! I guess that means my wardrobe is ten years old,” I said to my husband, hoping he’d take the hint and buy me some clothes as a present.

“Or,” he offered instead, “it means when you were 30 you had the body of a 40-year-old.”


We’ve had this before but in a slightly different context, I think.

A shepherd was herding his flock in a remote pasture when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced out of a dust cloud towards him.

The driver, a young man in a Brioni suit, Gucci shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses and YSL tie, leans out the window and asks the shepherd, “If I tell you exactly how many sheep you have in your flock, will you give me a sheep?”

The shepherd looks at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing flock and calmly answers, “Sure. Why not?”

The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects it to his AT&T cell phone, surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite navigation system 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. Then the young man 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 a MS-SQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with hundreds of complex formulas. He uploads all of this data via an email on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response. Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet printer and finally turns to the shepherd and says: “You have exactly 1586 sheep.”

“That’s right. Well, I guess you can take one of my sheep,” says the shepherd. He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on amused as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.

Then the shepherd says to the young man, “Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my sheep?”

The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, “Okay, why not?”

“You’re a consultant,” says the shepherd.

“Wow! That’s correct,” says the yuppie, “but how did you guess that?”

“No guessing required,” answered the shepherd. “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; and you don’t know crap about my business… Now give me back my dog.”


 

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