A shepherd was herding his flock in a remote pasture when suddenly a brand new BMW advanced out of the dust cloud towards him. The driver, a young man in a Broni suit, Gucci shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses and a YSL tie, leaned out the window and asked the shepherd, "If I tell you exactly how many sheep you have in your flock, will you give me one?"

The shepherd looked at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looked at his peacefully grazing flock and calmly answered. "Sure."

The yuppie parked his car, whipped out his computer notebook and connected to a cell phone. Then he surfed to a NASA page on the Internet where he called up a GPS satellite navigation system. He scanned the area and then opened up a database and an Excel spreadsheet with complex formulas. He sent an Email on his Blackberry and after a few minutes received a response. Finally, he printed out a 150-page report on his hi-tech miniaturized printer. Then he turned to the shepherd and said, "You have exactly 1586 sheep."

"That's correct, take one of the sheep," said the shepherd. He watched the young man select one of the animals and bundle it into his car.

Then the shepherd said, "If I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give back my sheep?"

"OK, why not," answered the young man.

"Clearly you are a Six Sigma Black Belt," said the shepherd.

"That's correct," said the yuppie, "but how did you guess that?"

"No guessing required," answered the shepherd. "You turned up here although 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 back my dog."

-- author unknown, collected from an e-mail forward (2003)