If I was green I would die

Borrowed from one of my favourite bedtime podcasts   No such thing as a fish  this is the story of a very interesting family called the Fugates, who lived in Troublesome Creek, Kentucky, USA.

In 1820, French born orphan Martin Fugate settled in the small riverside town of Troublesome Creek. Upon declaring himself a bonafide suiter, Martin met and began courting, a local fair-skinned human named Elizabeth Smith. They had quite a lovely flirtation, pottering along riverbanks and ending sentences with "Oh! I never!", which would eventually lead to their marriage. 

With consummation out of the way, the two enjoyed several months of gleeful pantsing before Elizabeth fell pregnant.  When their son Zachariah was born however, Martin realised that his darling Elizabeth had been hiding a moderately dark secret in her loins...

She had an avatar Vagina (as in James Cameron 'avatar', not to be confused with tiny internet pictures). Their baby son Zachariah was born blue.

He wasn't cold, his airways weren't restricted and he did not appear as Krishna incarnate...he was just blue.

It was unusual to be sure, but Martin was not the sort of chap to be put off by a trifling thing like that. The Fugates spawned another six children, and out of the total seven, four of the litter were 'bluegates'.

 

This coloured-in historical photograph depicts Martin Fugate and his family of Troublesome Creek circa 1820 - Image source: ABCnewsGO

This coloured-in historical photograph depicts Martin Fugate and his family of Troublesome Creek circa 1820 - Image source: ABCnewsGO

The family couldn't help but draw the attention of a few researchers, curious strangers, yelling drunkards and petrified children. Then along came Madison Carwein, a Kentucky based Hematologist who, thrilled by the rumours of their existence, tracked down the 'blue hill people of Troublesome Creek'. Long story short, Carwein teamed up with a medical nurse, and fellow Blugate fascinatee Ruth Pendergrass. The two studied the children, testing blood samples and pondering over diagnosis and potential 'cure' for their blueness. The hue changed dramatically when Carwein and Pendergrass hypothesised that an injection of Methylene Blue would react with the Blugate's complexion, potentially turning their skin a more natural pink colour.

Family tree of Marty and Liz Fugate - Image source:  Indiana.edu by Cathy Trost

Family tree of Marty and Liz Fugate - Image source:  Indiana.edu by Cathy Trost


 
The pair of rounded up two Blugate family members named Patrick and Rachel Ritchie and promptly injected them with 100mg of Methylene Blue. Carwein recalled "within a few minutes... For the first time in their lives they were pink! They were delighted".  He prescribed them with a daily dose of Methylene Blue in pill form. It was expensive and reasonably ineffective. The family returned to their original aesthetic.

The Blugate family line continued to grow, thrive and be invited to weddings by brides who already had something old, borrowed and new.

Cathy Trost wrote a fantastic paper about the Blugates... For further reading I recommend it and this part of John Curra's book 'The relativity of deviance'.