GTea Break

Meet Eric: The Real Life Merman

It's not everyday we watch a YouTube video that makes our jaw actually drop...

Meet 22-year-old Eric Ducharme, the Florida resident who is becoming a real life Merman. When we first watched this we were nervous about walking right into a late April Fools Day trap. But no, this is for real. America's reality channel TLC are showcasing Eric in the latest episode of their series 'My Crazy Obsession'. His obsession being mermaids. He has turned himself into a merman and drives for an hour and a half several days a week in order to spend his time flipping out in Florida's public waterways:

And despite Eric saying "I'm obsessed with mermaids", don't worry, he says this in the way that you might say you're obsessed with Celine Dion or Bonnie Tyler. Yes, you guessed it, Eric is totally gay:

His boyfriend Matthew also features in the show, relaying how Eric brought up the mermaid thing on their first date. He's very supportive of his boyfriend's unusual hobby, saying to camera: "Sometimes you see people with their scold-y looks, because they see the tail and think it's supposed to be a girl. Haters gonna gate!" We're pretty sure people would stare even more if it was a girl, especially if buxom, but we get his drift.

Our favourite vox pop has to be the mother Candice who states matter-of-factly "We all have our passions. That's Eric's"

Has Eric optimistically bought Matthew a nice cherry-red Ariel wig to wear on special occasions? Or possibly a Neptune trident? Can he sing under the sea while being underwater? Does he collect sea shells? Does Candice have an octopussy? There's so much we need to know! Disappointly we noted that Eric wears a pair of black swimmers beneath his scales so we take it Merman-cruising isn't a thing.

We used the phrase "for real" earlier. Whether Eric is genuinely infatuated or if he's just a one-trick-fish stretched out to make an hour of TV remains to be seen. He talks very earnestly about it all but beyond the initial surprise his obsession basically boils down to swimming around in a selection of shinny rubber tails. He can only hold his breath for four minutes and as yet, there don't seem to be any mermaid friends bobbing around. (There's bound to be a website for mermaid meet-ups right?)

We know of at least one other mermaid obsessive because Eric's discovery swiftly follows at lot of news hype about Linden Wolbert, a woman who lives and works professionally as a party-hire mermaid.

Perhaps Eric should approach Prowler to discuss an adult movie deal. There's definitely an unmined niche here. He probably doesn't want to piss off that hot boyfriend though, otherwise Eric might find himself battered to death, literally in a deep-frier, and served up with chips.

Also, not that we know many mermen, we imagine it can be hard to find boyfriends who are down with it all, especially ones as hot as Matthew. So maybe stick with it.

Understandably if Eric doesn't want to go down the kinky route though he should certainly get cracking with a YouTube channel, look into some advertising deals with tar tar sauce brands, and possibly ask Sea World for a Saturday job come summer. Good on him!

God we fancy some fish and chips now.

Before we sign off, there's time for 30 seconds of this:

Jon Voight: "Just thank the Lord your mother didn't live to see her son as a mermaid!"
Ben Stiller: "MerMANNNN!"

*Flips tail and splashes off*

Words:Jack Cullen

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