DETROIT -- Jan. 1 was a monumental day in the state of Oregon, and not just because it rang in a new year.
A brand new state law went into effect that day, and it's a big one. It's a first for the Beaver State. And it's sending shock waves across all 98,000-plus square miles and all 4 million residents as we speak.
For the first time — in counties with fewer than 40,000 people — Oregonians are allowed to pump their own gas.
Reread that last sentence. Take a moment to process it. Oregon didn't pump its own gas. And it still won't in its major counties. The only other state that doesn't allow you to pump your own gas is New Jersey.
What's so complicated about pumping gas?!
It gets worse.
At least several Oregonians are freaking out about the new law.
Case in point: KTVL CBS 10 News in Medford, Ore., posted this Facebook poll on Dec. 29, asking followers if Oregon should allow self-serve gas stations statewide.
Here are some of the, um, more concerned responses, and they're all quite serious:
♦ "Not a good idea, there are lots of reason to have an attendant helping, one is they need a job too. Many people are not capable of knowing how to pump gas and the hazards of not doing it correctly. Besides I don't want to go to work smelling of gas when I get it on my hands or clothes. I agree Very bad idea."
♦ "I don't even know HOW to pump gas and I am 62, native Oregonian.....I say NO THANKS! I don't want to smell like gasoline!"
♦ "I've lived in this state all my life and I REFUSE to pump my own gas. I had to do it once in California while visiting my brother and almost died doing it. This a service only qualified people should perform. I will literally park at the pump and wait until someone pumps my gas. I can't even"
So, to recap: Pumping your own gas is too difficult. It's too hazardous. It's too unsafe. And, heaven forbid, you might end up smelling like gasoline afterward. (Somewhere out there, Brian Fantana is smiling at that last one.)
To be fair, these Oregonians have a point: Pumping gas is a pretty difficult task, right up there with scraping your windshield and turning the heat on. And the fear of smelling like fuel is all too real when there isn't enough time in the day to shower.
Look, Oregon, if you're reading this, we're here to help. Here's a handy guide from roadandtrack.com on how to pump your own gas. It's only 13 steps long.
In the meantime, while the rest of us point and laugh, maybe don't proclaim you're a better state than the rest of us for a while. Okay?
Follow Brian Manzullo on Twitter: @BrianManzullo.