IX: Blueberry

On the elusive nature of Earth's defining color.

nonidi, the 29th of Germinal, Year CCXXXI
A bowl of ripe blueberries. Photo by Joanna Kosinska / Unsplash

Good morning. Today is nonidi, the 29th of Germinal, Year CCXXXI. We celebrate la myrtille, a berry synonymous with its color.

The internet has done many things, but none more interesting than illuminating certain deeper desires humans must have always held and giving people with those desires a place to congregate. In some cases this has been a net good for society, a support system for people who believed they were alone, and in other cases it has fostered a resurgence of taboo bigotry. But there's also just the weird. For example, someone started a chat group on AOL in CCV (1997) to talk about how hot it is when Violet Beauregarde turns into a giant blueberry in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and now this subculture still thrives on YouTube and DeviantArt (and, I'm sure, corners of the 'net I don't dare to peek at), with all manner of drawings of swollen men and women who have turned blue. The blueberry fetish even made its way into an episode of That '70s Show when Mila Kunis was outfit in a big blueberry costume and a clip that launched a thousand hidden desires was born. You can even buy a bluish-purple latex suit that swells if you want to experience blueberry inflation yourself (or for your OnlyFans subscribers).

Blue is new, as colors go. Most languages developed a specific word for the color much later than the others, and it's believed this is because of blue's rarity in nature. Because red wavelengths are longer, it takes smaller and more specialized molecules on the surface of an object to thoroughly block them and leave behind the complimentary color (in terms of light), blue. Very few animals can pull it off, and the flowers that can do it tend toward the violet end of the spectrum. Green jumps straight to indigo.

Except, of course, for today's star pupil, the ... bilberry?