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Pony Express - 'Do you know why I stopped you?'

"Do you know why I stopped you?"

That was the question the officer asked 20-year-old Tessa when he stopped her in St. Paul at 1 a.m. when she was driving her boyfriend's car for the first time. She was going to pick up her guy and two friends. Did I tell you she was coming from her college dorm and was wearing her pajamas?

"No sir, I don't."

Since she had never driven the car before, she checked the mirrors, adjusted the driver's seat -- up and forward -- tapped the brakes and reviewed the shift positions before she even started. Then she drove slowly because she wasn't familiar with the little car and because she really wasn't sure where her destination was.

"Are you sure you don't know why I stopped you?"

"No sir, I really don't."

"Have you been drinking?"

"No sir, I haven't."

"Let me see your registration certificate and your driver's license?"

"I don't know where the registration certificate is because this isn't my car, but here is my driver's license."

By this time a second officer had arrived, just in case maybe.

"Can you tell me what you're doing?"

"I'm going to pick up my boyfriend and his two friends. I'm driving his car and I'm not exactly sure where the place is. The address is..."

When the officer looked at her driver's license, he grinned. He showed it to the second officer and he grinned too.

"You see young lady, when somebody is driving as cautiously as you were at 1 a.m., it often means they've been drinking but trying too hard to cover it up with cautious driving. We can see that you haven't been drinking and we can also see that you are a North Dakota driver, so that kind of explains things. As it turns out, you've been doing everything just right, so keep doing things just as you were sweetheart. By the way, why don't we escort you to that address you're looking for so you don't get lost?"

So Tessa had a police escort to her destination and the moral of the story is this: If you get stopped by the police at 1 a.m., in St. Paul for driving too cautiously, things will turn out just fine if you haven't been drinking, if you're pretty, 20 years old, courteous, respectful and a North Dakota driver.