• Luca Brambilla

The bet

Reading time: 2 minutes

Once I went for dinner in a very luxury hotel in Milan with a businessman I had helped out with a purchase agreement. The deal went through, and I built a good relationship with him. So I wasn’t surprised when he invited me to dinner to see again and have a little chitchat.

I perceived by his tone of voice that he wanted to make me an offer, but I suspected that it was nothing work-related: on the phone, his slightly high-pitched voice had betrayed some kind of concern, but probably it was nothing urgent. Obviously I went to the dinner without unveiling anything but enjoying the story of this man who had successfully started his own business. While we were eating the dessert, he admitted the real purpose of the dinner: a bet!


Getting serious and pushing his chest out, which means that he was showing confidence, he told me that he had been fascinated by my consulting job, and that he had neglected his work in order to study NCV on a full-time basis.

Then he bet: he told me that, without detection, he had been observing a couple sitting in a table next us. According to him, at the end of the dinner the two of them would have gone their separate ways. At this point, he asked me if I had been willing to offer the dinner, only if the situation would have gone the way he predicted. I observed the couple for almost a minute, and I saw the elements that had made my smart client think that. In fact, neither of them was talking, both leant back comfortably. He was twiddling with the fork, she with a glass of wine.

I could do nothing but accept, and I immediately ordered two glasses of the most expensive liquor available on the menu.

After a while, the couple payed the bill, went out and kissed passionately, getting on his car and taking off together!



That scene was described by the businessman’s driver, who had remained outside and entered the restaurant meticulously telling what he had seen.

At this point, the businessman leant back: his arms felt limp, he always elegant and proper with his diamond cufflinks. He just asked me: "How?"


Sipping my liquor, I told him he didn't noticed that the tablecloth didn't touch the floor, and that their legs had always been in touch. Moreover, it could have been guessed that he had been played footsie all the night. The couple had nothing to say just because they were communicating with their legs. Both of them were just waiting for the bill, eager to go back home and call it a night. His gesture of twiddling with the fork and her gesture of touching the flûte were not signs of tedium at all, but signs of sexual tension.

Mr. F. figured everything out, and run to pay the bill. We remained friends. Some time later I went back to that restaurant, and I understood that I would have had another element to win the bet. But that’s another story…


Milan, 26th November 2017

#NonVerbalCommunication

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Copia Originale 

Foro Buonaparte,22