Philippe smoked angrily, his mouth tight, his jaw clenched. The windows were open to the crisp Alpine air and the smoke did not linger, but his dark mood was its own cloud. Across the table, Thomas was tallying up figures, silently. After a few minutes, Philippe cleared his throat, and Thomas looked up.
“Thomas, this is madness. When you said you wanted to sell a coffee machine for $799, I was skeptical, but I allowed you to proceed. But $5,599? For a home coffee maker? Who is decadent enough to pay almost six thousand dollars US for a coffee maker? Even among the idle rich readers of The New York Times Magazine, there can’t be more than a few dozen people so self-indulgent, so awash in disposable income, that they would buy a coffee machine that costs the same as a Vespa, or two reasonably priced engagement rings, or six thousand used Danielle Steele novels!”
Thomas nodded and removed his monocle, polishing it with the corner of his bright yellow pocket square. “Philippe, Philippe. Of course there aren’t more than a few dozen. But the profit margin on these machines mean we don’t need to sell more than a few dozen! With international role model and discerning coffee lover Roger Federer giving us his endorsement, surely we’ll reach at least a few people wealthy enough to buy a Giga 6 machine. And if my math is correct, we only need to sell 14 to reach our budget target.”
Understanding dawned on Philippe’s face. He smiled broadly and took a deep swallow from his bottle of Mountain Dew. “So after we sell 14 machines, we’ll have enough money to buy the equipment we need?”
Thomas stood and walked to the window. Across the Paradeplatz stood the blocky gray stone of the Credit Suisse headquarters. “That’s right, Philippe. Pickaxes, shovels, headlamps, and safecracking equipment. And maybe even a K-cup machine to help us stay awake while we’re tunneling. Soon, all that time we spent Swiss designing and Swiss engineering these coffee makers will pay off.”
Philippe walked to the window to join him. “Do we still have to share part of the cut with Monsieur Federer? He is already so rich!”
Still gazing at the bank, its vault shining and golden in his mind, Gunther nodded. “Yes, of course. It is my understand that Federer never assists in a bank heist unless he gets a cut.”