Here’s the deal:
Things are a bit different in Kentucky. There’s bluegrass, blue moons, and, wouldn’t you know it, blue people. That’s right, we’re talking folks with complexions that would put Violet Beauregarde and Nightcrawler to shame. It’s all because of something I can’t spell without copy and pasting called Methemoglobinemia. What happens is that the blood of those affected receives an abundance of methemoglobin, changing its consistency, which in turn alters skin tone. For folks of the Caucasian persuasion, this results in skin that, according to the color wheel, would be referred to as “blue.”
The gene can be carried by males or females, and if recessive, there is little danger of any cerulean hue overtaking a newborn’s rosy cheeks. If, however, two carriers or recessive folks get together on some starry night in the backwoods of Appalachia, drunk off of moonshine and engage in what old-timey novels call “congress,” then their inevitable offspring could come out quite tangled up in the aforementioned shade.
This is where incest enters the picture.
The Fugates were carriers of such genes throughout the 19th century, living in rural Kentucky, who had many a shotgun wedding where the bride and groom’s guest seating contained significant overlap. Since they stayed within their own gene swamp, the disorder had little chance to become recessive, and thus, generation after generation had that healthy, struggling-to-breathe tint upon exiting the womb.
The family was well known within the surrounding community, no doubt being the butt of jokes such as mine for the remainder of their days. It wasn’t until science and medicine were discovered sometime in the early 20th century that the Fugates learned their color was caused by a biological mishap rather than tiny demons burrowed deep within their flesh.
As World War II arrived, the Fugates were forced to set their navy hides into action in an attempt to defeat the Yellow Peril, thus thrusting them out of their azure love nest and into peach and eggshell society. The inbreeding (mostly) stopped after that, though there were some cases that sprung up within the family as late as the 1980s.
But seriously, isn’t The Blue Fugates like the coolest fucking band name ever?