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Paula Murphy of Granada Hills, Calif. closed the Bonneville Salt Flats racing season last week by setting a new world land-speed record for women of 226.37 mph, driving Walt Arfons' jet-powered Avenger. A few days before, when someone suggested she drive a jet car, Paula would have none of it.
But after trying the Avenger for 100 yards, Paula announced she was ready for a "test run" and asked that the timers be prepared in case she decided to go for a record. They were and she did.
Afterward, she was asked what she thought of women drivers in general.
"They're lousy," she said. "How could they be otherwise? They're always driving with a car full of kids, dogs, cats. They can't concentrate."
Paula thinks next year she may go after the men's record.
"There's just one thing that bothers me about these jet cars," she said. "Once you open the throttle, you're committed. If you put it on power for 300, say, there's no changing your mind and putting it back to 275. You can't change your mind."
THE REFORMATION OF MERRY
If there be any among you who would like to sweeten the temper of a savage dog, consider the experience of Mrs. Constance White, London portrait painter, with Merry, a fawn-and-white bull terrier. Mrs. White found Merry sulking in a Sussex kennel, to which she had been confined after killing a pig. Mrs. White took her home.
For a year, Merry was "difficult, belligerent and terrifying," nastily rushing the front door, chasing geese across frozen ponds and harrying postmen, who prudently left the mail outside the garden gate.
But Mrs. White, who belongs to Britain's Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, as well as the League Against Cruel Sports, the Anti-Bullfight Society and Lady Dowding's Beauty Without Cruelty Committee (which believes women can be fetching without resort to furs or cosmetics containing animal fats), is also a vegetarian. She decided to take Merry off meat and put her on oatmeal porridge, milk, nuts, eggs, cabbage, carrots, cheese and, of course, Brussels sprouts.