Mayor Marion Barry has a fail-safe plan for dodging questions about his junkets to exotic destinations. When he escaped to the Republican Convention in San Diego in August, Barry said he was promoting D.C. tourism—to a crowd of career politicos who come here perforce. Now the mayor has pulled out the tourist card to justify his current trip to China and Korea—an outing that Barry claims will cost taxpayers “less than $10,000.”

“If one new tourist comes here, it’s worth the trip,” Barry said at a news conference last week.

Well, that lonely Korean or Chinese fan of D.C. who follows Barry and his entourage back from the Orient will really have to splurge in D.C. to cover the costs of Barry’s junket. Assuming that the mayor’s trip actually does cost $9,999, here’s a look at just how much shopping the District’s newest tourist would have to do to vindicate the mayor:

9,999 rides on the carousel in front of the Smithsonian, or

1,667 dinosaur posters at the National Museum of Natural History, or

556 rides on the Old Town tourist trolley, or

1,667 rolls of film, or

625 Hard Rock Cafe T-shirts, or

32 nights at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, or

1 bribe to ride in Barry’s limo

—Erik Wemple