Now I completely agree with Mike that jokes are really really difficult. Whether something constitutes as a joke or funny-once subjects to the perceivers' value system. It is difficult to really discern what people mean since one does not understand the degree of seriousness of the matter. Is it a joke to feel amused by or a signal of something of consequence? Languages are context-sensitive. It takes time; yet the best approach is to ask questions to straighten things rather than let it stew.
It felt like in a conversation in a game where I kept picking the wrong branch and ignored the many chances to switch back to the path to good ending.