Annals of identity

From several friends on Facebook, links to stories about merman Eric Ducharme, for instance an International Business Times story of 4/4/13 by JR Tungol that begins:

Some people enjoy reading, while some others prefer cooking. But one man’s hobby is impersonating mermaids, or for him, mermen.

Eric Ducharme, 22, of Florida, eats, sleeps and breathes these mystical sea creatures, known for their human torsos and fin lower-halves.

“It’s a lifestyle. It’s a path in life that I have chosen,” said Ducharme, who appeared on Wednesday night’s episode of TLC’s “My Crazy Obsession,” a reality show that follows people with unique — rather odd – fascinations.

and includes the TLC  video about him.

“When I put on a tail, I feel transformed,” Ducharme said on last night’s episode. “I feel like I’m starting to enter into a different world when I hit the water. Being under water I feel, I’m just totally away from the world.”

… “Eric is obsessed with mermaids,” said Candy Ducharme, the self-proclaimed merman’s mother. “We have our own passions. That’s Eric’s life.”

… Ducharme’s boyfriend, Matthew Quijano, thought his fixation was shocking as well but now embraces the merman’s hobby.

… the young Floridian, who can hold his breath underwater for up to four minutes, has been able to turn his passion into a viable business and has become “one of the leading Mermaid Tail Makers in the industry,” according to Mertailor, LLC, the company he started at just 13.

The relationship between Ducharme and mermaids is variously described as a fixation, an obsession, and a passion; as a hobby; and as a lifestyle. And Ducharme’s talk of transformation suggests that for him it’s a matter of persona or even identity; when he puts on the tail, he becomes someone or something else.

3 Responses to “Annals of identity”

  1. Robert Coren Says:

    I wonder how he feels about Magritte? Specifically: http://www.rene-magritte.org/the-collective-invention.jsp

  2. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Robert Guido on Facebook:

    Thinking of all that stuff that gets bought from the International Mermale catalogue which guys are just too self-conscious to wear out in public.

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