I'm just going to say it: The world has gone soft.

If you truly believe that there should be or is a law against kids pumping gas, then you grew up ahead of the '90s.

In New Bedford's North End is a gas station with a very puzzling rule. The Stop & Shop on King's Highway displays a sticker on each gas pump with the following statement:

Courtesy Kendra Demello
Courtesy Kendra Demello

"Only Licensed Drivers Can Pump Gas," it says.

I'm sorry, but I've been pumping gas since I was a little kid.

I'll never forget the first day my mother permitted me to tend the gas pump while she waited patiently inside the car. It made me feel accomplished at a young age. That's something you can't take away from someone.

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Mass.Gov doesn't mention anywhere an age-limiting law when it comes to filling up a tank full of gasoline, making me think that there is more to this story other than a sticker. The only noticeable mention of gas comes in the form of a suggestion from the state's Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, which states: "Keep gasoline away from children. Children aged 10 to 14 are more likely to get in trouble with gasoline and suffer burns as people of other ages."

I called the New Bedford gas station, but received no answer. I can respect the choice they've made but would love to know why there is a ban on people under the age of 17.

Email me your thoughts on this at Gazelle@Fun107.com and let me know what you think. This is the only time I've ever seen this rule and hopefully the last.