Monitor would like to clear something up. Indeed, he has visited his local pharmacy regularly with just that in mind. And now It is time to get to the bottom of the matter! For accusations have been bandied about which suggest that Monitor is only interested in tomfoolery and high jinks (to paraphrase certain comments about urinary extraction). They say this page makes light of weighty issues. Not so! And Monitor takes this chance to prove it - by dedicating this week's column to tragedy hidden within our beautiful NHS.

Every picture tells a story. Some are interesting, Some are a bit more like HSJ's In Person section, rhythmically, almost hypnotically, regurgitating news so familiar you can't believe you didn't know it already. But some images stick in the mind. In February, one such pic plopped plaintively through Monitor's letterbox. Its poignancy brought the overly empathetic Mrs Monitor almost to the brink. Bleak - yet triumphant in its bravery.

Wiping a tear away, Monitor could hardly bear to read the guff attached. A short course of psychotherapy later, and It is time to share.

The setting is Birkenhead, in the Wirral. Reader, can you already hear the violins? Enter Fiver, a giant pink rabbit (see left), struggling to bring home the healthy-eating message. On Shrove Tuesday. And how is he making his voice heard? By 'tossing a vegetable stir-fry instead of the traditional pancake batter'. All alone. In the snow.

Life is also somewhat tragic for the poor old medical profession. With docs so often hurtling between the brink and the end of their tether, you wonder if they ought to buy a season ticket. So hoorah for defenders of the realm Doctor Magazine, who are designating 1 May National Doctors Day - in order 'to highlight the current crisis'.

Hoorah, hoorah, thought Monitor, gladdened at first by the idea that docs would have to save up all their gripes for one quite incredibly whingey day. Not so. The BMA and pals continue to vent spleen daily.