Misplaced Trust SOAP OPERA

Christmas with the Millstones

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7429.1434 (Published 18 December 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:1434
  1. Nicola Sharp

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    “It has not been a good year,” said Martha Millstone. “Nothing has gone right since that man from CHI found a dead body in the evidence base room.”

    “We're trying to have a nice family Christmas, dear,” said David Millstone. He pushed a purple paper crown on to his head.

    “Then tell me what that woman is doing here.” Martha pointed at Janet Pringle.

    “I know when I'm not wanted.” Janet got up and took off her silver paper hat. It caught on one of her snowman earrings.

    “I invited Janet because she is Douglas's friend,” said David, “and I want her to stay.”

    “She is a floozy and a topless model,” said Martha.

    “I've given up the topless modelling, now that I've paid off my student loan,” said Janet.

    “Have you?” asked Douglas Millstone. He sounded pleased.

    “She's a full time GP trainee now,” said David, “and we're very pleased to have her at Murkton Moor.”

    “I wouldn't have invited him.” Martha pointed at Douglas.

    “Douglas is our son,” said David.

    “I knew I shouldn't have come,” said Douglas.

    “Everyone sit down and eat,” said David. “The turkey's getting cold.”

    “The third person I didn't invite is you.” Martha pointed her fork at James Fatterley. “You're not even family.”

    “James is a family friend and valued colleague,” said David.

    “He's a lousy chief executive. He suspended me, and he's trying to close down the hospital,” said Martha. “Now he's given me the impossible choice: save the hospital or return to work.”


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    Janet Pringle

    “He's only doing his job,” said David. “I think we should all eat, drink, and be merry. It is Christmas.”

    “Something is wrong,” said Martha.

    “Nonsense, dear, the turkey looks fine. There are roast potato, mashed potato, sausages, bacon, sprouts, carrots, parsnips, stuffing—”

    “We're all here,” …

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