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Bulger hospitalized with banjo poisoning

Bulger hospitalized with banjo poisoning

Terry Bulger, WSMV-Channel 4’s folksy chronicler of all matters bucolic, was hospitalized over the weekend in Columbia with what a hospital spokesman called “an acute case of banjo poisoning.”

Bulger was in Columbia Friday to cover Uncle Zeke Poteet’s Maury County Old-Timey Days, a three-day festival of homespun pursuits such as sorghum-making, cane-bottom chair-weaving, and butter-churning. As is common at corn-pone festivals of this type, several amateur bluegrass bands also were on hand.

Witnesses say that after the third overalls-clad bluegrass group in a row took to the makeshift stage and launched into what was probably supposed to be “Foggy Mountain Breakdown,” Bulger appeared woozy and was helped to a nearby chair by his partner on the story, Channel 4 cameraman Newt Danley.

County EMS workers took the still-disoriented reporter to Maury County Regional Hospital, where he received the diagnosis of acute banjo poisoning and was placed on Headphone Mozart Therapy for three days.

Colleagues at Channel 4 say they’ve been concerned that Bulger was placing his health at risk by covering several country-fried festivals in the past few weeks. Bulger, however, had waved away the concerns—a cavalier attitude that cost him a weekend in the hospital.

Fortunately, the popular reporter will fully recover.

“He’ll be fine,” says Dr. Sandeep Rajpujar, who treated Bulger at Maury County Regional. “Studies have shown that after a certain point, amateur banjo playing can build to toxic levels in the body, and that’s what happened to Terry. He’s just going to have to take it easy for a few weeks.”

Bulger was back on the job Tuesday, and newsroom management at WSMV moved quickly to assign him stories about preternaturally nice inner-city kids and heartwarming old folks who collect strange things.


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