Love/Hate Mail, July 11, 2013 

Spider sense

I would like to commend Adam Gold and the Scene for the excellent article "Buggin' Out" in your current issue (July 11).  To me, it seems to provide an important public service, thoroughly and accurately informing readers on a current sensitive issue.

I got a brown recluse bite last January, on the back of my neck, as I sat in my recliner watching TV.  I only noticed it later, presumably, when I had a slight sensation, felt the back of my neck, and noticed a small bump. No spider was to be seen.  As we've noticed BRs in our house for years (though never knowingly been bitten), I suspected its cause.  Next day or so, I had it checked out at VUH Emergency, just to be on the safe side.  While they wouldn't confirm the source without the actual culprit, they did seem to concur with my self-diagnosis.  They advised me just to keep the bite clean, occasionally apply an antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection, and otherwise leave it alone. Later, my family GP concurred.  The bite gradually healed after some days, and has caused no further problem.

A couple of weeks ago, out doing yard work, I got what I suspect was another spider bite (non-BR, as the appearance was not the typical BR pattern), along with a few chigger bites, despite having sprayed with repellant.  Same "treatment," and now it too is a thing of the past. 

So from my personal experience, I have to concur: Keep it clean, maybe use some antibac cream if you want, and otherwise leave it alone.

Lee Martin

Eight legs to harm you

This article downplays the danger of a brown recluse bite ("Buggin' Out," July 11). I was bitten three years ago and went to a doctor immediately when my entire arm began to swell to 50 percent larger than normal. I was put on steroids, antibiotics and pain meds. It took three months to heal and the scab to come off. As a result of the bite I have a silver-dollar-sized scar (some of the skin and muscle tissue was permanently dissolved by the venom) and minor nerve damage to my left arm (no pain or heat sensation around bite site). This was my result with near immediate medical attention. Brown recluse spiders sometimes carry MERSA in their mouthparts, and if you get an infection from that your result could be WAY worse than mine. If you suffer a bite of consequence, I recommend you get serious antibiotics from a doctor!

Richard Carota Jr.

Get a brand-new bag of Papa's

As with two other reviewers, I'm (mildly) shocked that Papa Turney's ( was left off the list ("Pork is king! Sauce is boss! In search of Middle Tennessee's best barbecue," July 4). Dang good ribs and pulled pork and sausage. (Haven't tried the chicken yet.)

B&C is great — particularly the brisket, sauce, the sides and the friendliness. (Good desserts too.)

Jack's deserves to be here if nothing else for pioneering the revitalization of Lower Broad. (Although their brisket and sausage sandwiches are also some of the best food downtown.)

Totally agree on the Peg Leg Porker ribs. And the beans there are incredible. Wonderful mac-and-cheese as well.

I don't "get" Hog Heaven at all. I tried it. Just not my cup of sweet tea, I guess. Maybe I'm not a white-sauce guy?

Jim N' Nick's is OK. Thought it was the bomb dot com when we first moved to town years ago. Service is friendly. Those cheesy biscuits are addictive. But I gotta say the food now seems a little ... corporate. Would it be unfair to call Jim N' Nick's the Cracker Barrel of BBQ? (I like Cracker Barrel in its own way. Definitely the best you'll find at a rest stop in most states on cross-country road trips.)

As good as the food tastes at Martin's (and it does taste good), I stopped going years ago after finding the place was overrun by flies. Not one or two, but hordes of them. Call me persnickety.

Thanks for all the recs of other places to try. Should be fun seeing how they stack up to my faves.

Aaron Midnight

Desertion of duty on Bar-B-Cutie

You did not comment why you left Bar-B-Cutie out of this article completely ("Pork is king! Sauce is boss! In search of Middle Tennessee's best barbecue," July 4). It should have been mentioned in the paragraph with [Charlie] Nickens, Nick Varallo and Jim Coursey's barbecue. Bar-B-Cutie was started here in 1951 or 1952 and it's still here while the others are long gone. Nickens' and Coursey's were great but so is Bar-B-Cutie.

Pam Griffith


People that think Bar-B-Cutie is good BBQ ("Pork is king! Sauce is boss! In search of Middle Tennessee's best barbecue," July 4) are the same people that think a 2-week-old Big Mac is the best burger in town.

Greg Haynes


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