Small Favors 

If you’re an American who doesn’t live in New Jersey or Oregon, you have the option of pumping your own gas. And if you live somewhere where it gets cold, or even if you just want to clean your windshield while you fuel up, you know how nice it is to have a hold-open clip. The ability to keep gas flowing without needing to hold the pump yourself is a small nicety in life. Yesterday, life in Massachusetts got a little better, when hold-open clips were finally legalized here.

Massachusetts is the only state in America where hold-open clips are banned, though a handful of cities and towns across the country have also put the kibosh on them. They’ve been outlawed here since self-serve gas pumps were given the go-ahead back in the 1970s. But Coan says that advances in pump technology, and decades of data from the 49 other states where hold open clips are allowed, have convinced the folks at the Fire Safety Department that it’s time to lift the ban.

Yes, the Bay State needed decades of data to determine that hold-open clips weren’t horrible death traps. At this rate, maybe we’ll get happy hour back in a few hundred years.