The Eric Epidemic: A Look Into CVU’s Latest Fad

Ms. Elyse Martin-Smith

Kindhearted CVU junior Eric Couture has become an icon at CVU seemingly overnight during the beginning of 2019, but for a surprising reason. Small images of Couture have been placed in nooks and crannies around the school. Thanks to CVU junior Noel Bedard and some friends, it has been estimated that over 2,281 photos of Couture have been hidden around classrooms, bathrooms, and more.

The photo of Eric spotted outside of room 164, courtesy of Elyse Martin-Smith.

The photo of Eric spotted outside of room 164, courtesy of Elyse Martin-Smith.

In the beginning, the photo had started as a fun and accidental discovery between friends. They had no idea how much it would catch on in the CVU community. “Initially, our mutual friend, Avery Murray-Gurney, began messing around with the zoom on her phone camera and accidently took the photo. The photo itself was never even meant to exist,” said Noel Bedard.

“She found it inherently amusing due to Eric’s expression and therefore printed out about five of them and hid them around the school.” Bedard then asked for a copy of the photo. “Basically, I had to take it to another level.” With the help of some friends, more and more photos were placed around the school, slowly gaining more attention and positive recognition. What began as a few innocent photos quickly multiplied exponentially into a whopping multi-thousand picture operation, fueled by delightfully entertained onlookers.

Bedard and his comrades were inspired by a very dedicated and fun outlook on life. “My friend Calvin and I, Calvin being a discordian, a discordian basically being a religion devoted to pranking other people,” interested them in this daunting but epic pranking task.

The first “batch” of Erics were created on Monday, January 7th using CVU’s own library printer. Each batch consisted of 24 Erics, with merely five sheets racking up 120 Eric photos. As increasingly positive reactions emerged, so did the number of batches. The printing process became algorithmic, calculated considering defective Erics to total about 2,281 photos, which does not even include the amount that Calvin or others printed independently. The photos were meticulously and tediously hand cut before they moved onto the more fun stage of being hidden around the school.

No one involved with this ever expected it to become so unusually popular or noticed. “It’s kind of miraculous that very few people actually noticed us doing this, and I think it has to do with the fact that people don’t tend to look at things that they don’t think are strange, and if you act like you’re doing something completely normal, people will treat it as such,” said Bedard insightfully and eloquently.

The photos themselves caused many students to misinterpret the meaning of this movement. Some students and staff alike believed that Eric was campaigning for something, or that he single-handedly put these photos up himself! “A lot of them began treating [the photos] like trading cards and seeing who could collect the most of them. It was hilarious!” Bedard explained about the various student and staff reactions.

“There are even a few students who saw this as a massive conspiracy and tried to figure it out.” It rapidly became a game that truly depended on the eye of the beholder, or the concealed meaning that the community members hoped to derive from this surprisingly intriguing action. Eventually, the custodians had enough with the ever-growing population of Eric photos, so they asked to have all parties involved stop. The production of these photos has since ceased.

These photos caused a schoolwide scavenger hunt and a “Where’s Waldo”-like trend to find and collect these images. However, these photos have seemed to disappear almost as quickly and stealthily as they appeared. Unfortunately for the excited students and luckily for the kind custodial staff, this fad has appeared to come to a close. If you see an Eric photo around the school, embrace it as an artifact of the beginning of 2019 and a token of a fun time.

Eric Couture has declined to comment at this time.