With my apologies to Groucho Marx.

At a future committee hearing on January 6:

Panel: “The panel calls Rufus T. Firefly, a former presidential adviser, to the stand. Mr. Firefly, do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, then God help you?”

Firefly: “Absolutely. I find the secret to life is honesty and fairness, and if you can fake it, you’ve done it.”

Sign: “Where were you the sixth?”

Firefly: “I’m never on the Sixth. My family always sits on the Fifty, that way we can see both sides of the game, attack and defence.”

Panel: “No, that’s not what I meant…”

Firefly: “I find your comment very offensive, which makes me sound very defensive. Next question.”

Sign: “No, where were you on January 6?”

Firefly: “Oh, where was I on that sixth? In that case, I’m taking the fifth.”

Sign: “You were with the former president that day, weren’t you?”

Firefly: “Knock, knock…”

Panel: “Who’s there?”

Firefly: “Orange”.

Panel: “Orange who?”

Firefly: “Did you know some people call him the Orange Man?”

Panel: “So you were with the former president?”

Firefly: “Yes. I was with the former president formerly known as the president.”

Panel: “And…”

Firefly: “Orange, you’re glad you haven’t said Orange Man yet.”

Panel: “What did he do?”

Firefly: “Not much. Except running for re-election, then losing re-election, then refusing to admit he lost re-election by saying the other guy lost the election, then tried to bringing everyone from his most senior officials to his mother’s brother’s cousin’s aunt through marriage’s grandson to claim the guy who won the election had no right to be elected.”

Sign: “Carry on. Tell us what you know.”

Firefly: “Well, art is art, isn’t it? Yet, on the other hand, water is water! And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and simmer them like applesauce, they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb. Now, uh… now you tell me what you know.

Panel: “We know the former president instigated a group of supporters to march on Capitol Hill to prevent certification of the election.”

Firefly: “Well, if you already know, you don’t need me anymore. I’m leaving. Who do I talk to to validate my parking?”

Panel: “What did the former president say?”

Firefly: “Oh, he says a lot of things. Have you ever seen him on TV?”

Sign: “What did Six say to the crowd?”

Firefly: “Oh, we’re back at Sixth. It’s probably Seventh now.”

Sign: “Mr. Firefly…”

Firefly: “Next time I see you, remind me not to talk to you.”

Panel: “The words of the former president…”

Firefly: “He said something like, Follow me to the Capitol…”

Panel: “And…”

Firefly: “They went to the Capitol and he came home to watch them on TV.”

Panel: “As events unfolded and the former president watched them on television, what advice did you give?”

Firefly: “I told him he watched too much TV.”

Sign: “No…”

Firefly: “I find television very informative. Every time someone turns on the set, I go to the other room and read a book. … Aside from a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside a dog, it’s too dark to read.

Sign: “Did you advise the former president on what was happening on Capitol Hill?”

Firefly: “I tried but it’s hard to talk to him on the edge. Or sideways, or lengthwise, or… Actually, let’s forget wise all together.”

Panel: “What did the former president say?”

Firefly: “Oh, the usual stuff, like, last night I shot an elephant in my pajamas…”

Sign: “How did the elephant get into his pajamas that he never knew?”

Firefly: “No, he knew how the elephant put on his pajamas. Republicans had slept with him a long time ago. … No, actually, he said something more, I could stand in the middle of the Fifth Avenue and shoot an elephant in pajamas and I wouldn’t lose a voter.”

Panel: “How did that make you feel?”

Firefly: “Awful. I really like elephants.”

Sign: ‘Did you tell the former president he needed to stop what was happening on Capitol Hill?’

Firefly: “Yeah. I told him to stop right now. He looked at me like he didn’t understand. I said, Mr. President, a 5-year-old could understand that, and then to the other councilors I said, send someone to get a 5-year-old child.”

Panel: “A last word?”

Firefly: “I intend to live forever or die trying.”

Panel: “No, do you have any final thoughts?”

Firefly (lighting a cigar, wiggling his eyebrows and mustache): “No, like most Americans, my thoughts are already closed.”

Rufus T. Firefly is the character name of Groucho Marx in “Duck Soup”. Several of Firefly’s comments in this column are direct quotes from or based on Groucho. Dean Poling is editor of the Valdosta Daily Times and editor of the Tifton Gazette.