By Steve Galea
A week or so ago, my best buddy Tom called me and spoke with more enthusiasm than I have heard him exude in a long time.
“I have seen the light,” he finally said.
Hearing these words is normally a good thing, unless you hear them uttered from inside of a dark railway tunnel. So, I asked him to elaborate further. Tom then explained that he had discovered something very interesting and unique on the Internet.
“I hear that train a-coming,” I thought.
He then proceeded to tell me about an on-line experience that really fired his imagination, filled him with admiration, inspired him, and made him long for more.
Suffice it to say, he was not referring to my Instagram account.
Instead, my pal was describing a topic that even I had to concede was much more socially relevant. Tom had stumbled upon a YouTube Channel whose sole focus was on the trimming of cow and bull hoofs. Not just any hoofs either. No, just the unhealthy, pus-filled kind.
To be clear, Tom is not a cattle or dairy farmer. And, as far as I know, he has never expressed an unhealthy interest in bovine hoofs.
He is, however, what I would refer to as a movie-snob. He is the kind of guy who will laugh at, and even tease you, for your taste in movies. His latest choice of Internet viewing, however, finally put it all in perspective.
Now, I fully understand why he hates all the movies I love. Not one of them has shown a scene where a pus-filled hoof gets trimmed.
The more interesting part is that my buddy is not alone in liking this YouTube channel. In fact, it has 1.8 million followers. And the content creator has made a lot of money off it.
I won’t lie to you. I still don’t understand the attraction that comes with watching videos that feature pus-filled cow hooves being trimmed. Go ahead, call me a weirdo.
When I mentioned this to Jenn though, she told me that this infatuation with gross things is just the tip of the iceberg. She informed me that the Internet is filled with celebrities like Doctor Pimple Popper who has, surprisingly enough, 7.7 million followers who love nothing better than to watch her pop pimples. Jenn also told me that there are entire Internet social media empires based on such popular pastimes as rug cleaning or stump removal, each with millions of followers.
Yes, the world is a wonderful and diverse place.
Here’s the thing. All these on-line trends have passed me by. So, it turns out I wasn’t as cool as I thought.
Even more painful, I was not sure about the hoof trimming website in terms of entertainment value. It just seemed like one of those horrible, gross things that people sometimes watch – like leadership debates and old men in Speedos, but slightly better. Then again, I was also fairly certain that I was judging something that I had not even given a chance.
So, just to prove I’m not close-minded, I decided to watch one of these hoof-trimming videos in order to see what I was missing. Approximately three dozen videos later, I could not, for the life of me, see what the attraction was.
And I even said as much in the comment section, right after I liked and subscribed.