The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

Children stop crying when their mommy kisses a boo boo. I think that many of us never grow out of that need for solace. We might learn to disguise it better as we grow and become increasingly independent, but we all love to be comforted to some degree. That’s why hugs exist.

With the advent of YouTube, we’ve been able to take our comfort seeking to an extreme. I’ve written before about my obsession with Dr. Pimple Popper, and my brief flirtation with Mukbang, but now I have a new fascination: The Hoof GP.

Graeme Parker is a cattle hoof trimmer who started making videos in 2019 in order to “promote hoof care standards throughout the world.” I’m sure he assumed that all his viewers would be farmers who were looking to hone their hoof trimming skills, but at the time of this writing his videos have garnered more than 541 million views. Why?

I can’t speak for everyone, of course, but originally, his YouTube channel drew me in because he has a lovely Scottish accent and his videos often give you a glimpse of the beautiful countryside in Scotland. The slower, rural pace of his life appeals to me, too. It didn’t take me long to realize that he’s also a really, genuinely decent and kind man who loves his job and his family, and that’s also nice to see. But the thing that keeps me coming back, much to my surprise, is the hoof trimming itself.

Many of his videos show him working on a severely damaged hoof. Those poor cows will come limping in, looking miserable, and he’ll work on them, often amidst a shower of pus, blood, and cow poop, and those cows usually leave feeling much, much better. Some cows have such big hoof problems that he has to revisit them again and again over the course of months, but that’s cool, too, because then you get to see the progress.

Healing is happening before your very eyes. Couldn’t we all use a bit of healing these days? And the great unspoken is that if he is unable to resolve the cow’s issue, it will most likely be off to the knackery with her. So he’s saving lives as well. These cows will live to moo another day. You might say that it’s moosmerizing. (Sorry. Had to.)

I know, you’re thinking that this is just another one of my weird obsessions, but I have come up with a plausible theory as to why I’m hooked on the Hoof GP. What it boils down to is that Mr. Parker is the video equivalent of a lullaby. He makes it all better. The accent is just the cherry on top of the sundae.

At this moment in time, I really, really need to be able to focus on someone who loves making it all better. In the midst of a pandemic, and unprecedented American political turmoil, and mass shootings, and a really scary flirtation with WWIII, and the wholesale dismantling of women’s rights, it’s nice to tune in and lose myself in a world where the goal is to relieve pain and improve lives. That must be a really satisfying way to earn a living (although I often wonder if his wrists give him as much trouble as mine do.)

Mr. Parker is presented with a problem, and he does his best to solve it. He’s not an obstructionist. He’s not a conspiracy theorist (or if he is, he hasn’t mentioned it.) He’s not spewing hate or lies, or being scandalous or greedy or cruel. He’s just doing a job that he loves, and improving the quality of life for other creatures on this increasingly crazy planet of ours. How refreshing. I’ll often view a few of his videos just before bedtime, so I can drift off to sleep with the impression that all’s right with the world.

If you’re curious, but not sure you could handle the gross elements, then I recommend that you start by watching his video about a cow with three toes. No blood. No pus. I promise. You can work your way up to that stuff or not. But at least watch that one and delight in the pure, compassionate, problem-solving, rural Scottish routine of it all.

Like the way my weird mind works? Then you’ll enjoy my book! http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5

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