Now let's see if we have this straight. The mayor allegedly smoked crack with a what?

"A sherbet glass," Charles Lewis testified.

Some explanation, for the uninitiated, may seem in order. It all began, according to Lewis, when Lewis lost his crack pipe. It was December 1988; Mayor Marion Barry had come calling at the downtown Ramada Inn, and his host had crack cocaine but no way to smoke it.

For his personal use, Lewis testified, he was relying at the time on a "straight shooter:" a simple glass tube held vertically, with a screen balanced atop it and a cocaine rock perched carefully on the screen.

Barry, according to Lewis, did not think much of that. On a subsequent visit, Lewis testified, Barry asked him upon arrival for a Coke.

"Coke?" Lewis asked, confused. "We have coke on the desk, rock cocaine." "No," Barry laughed, according to Lewis. "He meant, you know, Coca-Cola."

What Barry actually wanted, Lewis testified, was a soda can -- often used, on the street, to form a crack pipe. But Lewis had no soda can either, he said, and the mayor next asked him for a glass.

Suddenly Lewis understood the mayor's purpose. "I told him I knew what he wanted to do," Lewis testified, "so I got some foil paper and I started and I fixed the glass for him to smoke out of."

Lewis said he took a goblet-shaped sherbet glass and filled it half full of water. With a rubber band, he wrapped heavy foil atop it. Using a paper clip for a punch, he testified, he poked a large hole on one side of the foil and small holes on the other. Gently he dropped a bed of cigarette ashes over the small ones.

The large hole became a mouthpiece. The bed of cigarette ashes stopped the crack from falling through the holes.

All in all, said Lewis, he preferred the straight shooter himself, but Barry used the sherbet glass to smoke.

R. Kenneth Mundy, the mayor's attorney, had just one thing to ask about the apparatus on cross-examination. He understood the foil, he said, and he understood the ashes. But why in the world was the glass half full of water?

"I don't know," Lewis replied, provoking laughter. "That's why I don't fool around with it."