Mayor Marion Barry's defense lawyer's strategy is to convince a jury that the mayor has been charged with possession of drugs and perjury because of his race. This is not the case. Most people tend to get nervous when their mayor is tooting suspicious substances.

The truth of the matter is that mayors have to make more split-second decisions than any other elected officials.

They also need to make them with a clear head -- dope can slow you down.

Come with me to a mayor's mansion in Gotham City, U.S.A.

Mayor Dubarry is reading the morning newspaper with a straw.

The phone rings and a voice says, "Mr. Mayor, we have a warehouse fire on Cunard and First. What do you want us to do?"

"Dispatch 4,000 snow plows -- and if that doesn't work, use your backup garbage trucks."

"We don't have 4,000 snow plows, sir."

"Then order them from the Sharper Image catalogue," Mayor Dubarry tells him and hangs up. He appears very restless and calls in his secretary.

"Do I have any grand jury hearings today? I feel like committing perjury."

"No, sir. They're coming up next week."

"That's a pity. Maybe I'll lie to the press."

"You always feel better when you do, Mr. Mayor."

The phone rings again. "Mr. Mayor, this is the chief of police. There's a madman on top of the library, and he's screaming that he won't come down until you pay for the last marijuana delivery he made to you in the Virgin Islands."

"Shoot him."

"You really want us to shoot him?"

"What choice do I have? I'm the mayor."

He hangs up and turns to his secretary. "Do you remember where I put the Percodan pills?"

"I thought you put them in the 'In' box with the uppers."

"I better have a few while I design the plans for the new hospital."

"Mr. Mayor, you know that Margaret Thatcher is coming this morning for a visit."

"I wonder if she snorts?"

"I don't think so. By the way, the State Department protocol people have requested that you do not giggle when you give her the key to the city."

"They've got a nerve telling me what to do," the mayor says. "Do I tell Margaret Thatcher how to run the Eiffel Tower?"

"Are you finished cooking with this white powder?"

"Of course I'm finished. I can take it or leave it."

"Then I'll put it away."

"No, leave it."

"Mr. Mayor, there is a subway derailment and all traffic in the city is stopped. The man responsible was on drugs."

"How sad. Let's give him another chance."

"Sir, do you think you should be sitting on the floor in the lotus position when Prime Minister Thatcher comes into the room?"

"She rules India, she should be used to it."