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Great Aunt Martha Matthau was famous for her line of homemade herbal remedies. Got a cold? Great Aunt Martha's special additives for chicken soup cured the worst of sniffles. Feet hurt? She had a soothing ointment. Female problems? Just the thing.

Unfortunately, in her advanced years she became a bit forgetful, and sometimes mixed her recipes accidentally. When the local alderman was stung by a swarm of African Bees, naturally he came to Aunt Martha, but somehow she accidentally mixed the ingredients for Bee Sting Balm with the ingredients she normally used in her Breast Enhancer,

... and he developed the most unusual hives you ever saw. It took three people to restrain Alderman Jones from scratching both himself and Aunt Martha to pieces.

And you don't even want to know what happened when her cures for love troubles went awry!

Aunt Martha's niece, who lived with her as a companion, was concerned that in this litigious age, people might begin to sue, and tried to figure out how to convince her aunt to retire.

One day as they watched The World Series of Poker on television, the niece remembered that Auntie loved playing the slots and had adored Liberace's shows in her youth. Aha, she thought. I will send her to Las Vegas for a week and while she's gone I will clear out all her potions. Once she she gets there, she'll forget all about anything except going back for another show and a round of the poker tables.

Aunt Martha clapped her hands in delight. "Las Vegas! Can I see Wayne Newton, too?"

"Of course you can, Auntie. Why, you can go back every week from now on if you want to."

So, the niece gave Auntie a manicure using her favorite shade, Red Glitter, then tried not to over-react as her aunt happily chose a wardrobe for the flight - black velvet dinner dress, purple glittery stockings and her favorite hat.

Exhausted from the stress and preparations, yet elated at the thought of her plan's success, the niece called for their taxi to the airport. In the meantime, Aunt Martha decided to take one last little nip of her Energy Emulsion before the trip. But instead of mixing that drink, she accidentally combined the ingredients for Magnificent Mane Hair Replenisher Mixture with who knows what.

And something happened.

Oh dear!

It was quite alarming ...

and the niece was extremely upset ...

but couldn't figure out who to call ...

and since Auntie wasn't too bothered ...


... they went on to Las Vegas anyway, but in the niece's van. "So you'll be more comfortable, Auntie."

And to the niece's great relief, Aunt Martha was a dancing sensation and people loved her costume, since it was Halloween ... and Las Vegas, after all.

In fact, Wayne Newton dedicated his entire performance to her, and the last I heard she had decided to move to Las Vegas to develop her own act.



NOTE: Great Aunt Martha was a collaboration with Dana Burton of the MiniDolls list, who planned a tutorial on making a similar spider. I just wrote the story.

The lucky members of the MiniDolls list were treated to a presentation by Nancy Cronin on sculpting faces, and Dana's tutorial, among other fun events to celebrate Halloween.

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