It was Ignatz, ever the sharpest, who noticed that the room was filling with smoke even more pungent than the usual miasma of toner. In a flash he grabbed the yarmulke off his head and, using one of Tommy's shoelaces, tied it into a makeshift surgical mask. "Ha ha! I'm gonna outlive Yoo-hooo" he taunted playfully, pointing at Turbida and Tommy Pat. "Gimme da beanie, maricon!" hissed Turbida, with a trademark flick of her butterfly knife. Hopping onto the comatose Tommy's wheelchair, she put pedal to the medal and aimed at Ignatz. As he ducked, the powerful turbo chair crashed through the locked door.
They were free, in the promised land of the big cubicles. Awestruck, Turbida whispered, "We should steal sumthin." But before she could take action, a gout of flame spouted from the floor, and the three moved as one to the elevator.
It was here that the three showed the teamwork that made them, despite their diverse backgrounds, true Americans. Ignatz said sadly, "I can't go without Tommy Pat." Turbida, her proud gold canines glinting in the flames, said wryly, "Why da fahk not?"
Ignatz, tears shining in his wry, rueful eyes, replied, "Cause he's blocking the entrance, stupid! And I can't touch the floor today because it's less than a week til Sabbath!" Turbida wryly acknowledged the justice of Ignatz's wry remark. Wryly, she turned to Tommy and shouted in his freckled, suet-clogged ear, "Get outta da way jew fat peeg!" Tommy wryly drooled and shrugged. "I like it," he said. "Pretty fire! Funny!" Turbida, well aware that Tommy was in the grip of shock, bit through his ear with her golden canines. Tommy squealed and lurched forward, hitting the elevator button. The door opened and the three lurched in, Turbida and Ignatz riding on Tommy's sturdy turbo chair.
"What floor should I press?" asked Tommy. Turbida wryly stabbed him in the neck, a shallow lovebite. "Jew reelly are mo' stoopid dan a dead chicken!" she teased, leaning over Tommy's bulk to press "Second floor." Turning to Ignatz, she explained, "Dis way we get out onna second flo', dey tink we walk, we heroes, we can sue, see?" Ignatz groaned and began intoning pig-Latin.
"The lights ain't movin', Mommy," said Tommy wryly. All three looked in horror. The big fellow was right! The elevator was not moving. "I told you we shoulda taken the stairs," said Ignatz.
But at that moment, the elevator cables, melted by two million gallons of jet fuel, finally released, and the cage plummeted 179 floors in a few seconds. "Hold onto fatboy!" suggested Turbida wryly. "Maybe he bounce!" "I doubt it," moaned Ignatz wryly, grabbing Tommy's moist nostrils for dear life. Turbida, feeling closer to her friends than she ever had before, dug her teeth deeply into Tommy's fat-marbled shoulder. "Bounce, fucker, bounce!" she begged. Ignatz muttered an ancient prayer, "Now I lay me down to sleep, I hope they hit first." Tommy giggled, "Whee!"
Weeks later, the tired, grimy heroes of FDNY, combing through the rubble, came upon the image so many of us will carry in our hearts forever: the three friends, charred and roasted, holding on to each other as if they never meant to let go, compressed into a squat mound of melted wheelchair and pressed flesh, at the bottom of a WTC elevator shaft. One of the grizzled veteran firefighters who found them shook his head and said wryly, "If it ain't my idiot cousin Tommy holdin' on to a Jew and some kinda slope. I guess dis was da express elevator, huh guys?" As the smoke-blackened heroes chuckled wryly, he added those words we will always remember: "Better call da cameras, boys. This is a goddam photo op if I evuh saw one."