Level Two. Do you mean it?

Level Two – Do you mean it?

By Michelle Lloyd.

New One felt like he understood most of what his parents told him.  He was not a complex person and did not want anyone to think that he did not know about life.  Indeed he had lived his life, albeit a few years of it, but he felt he had a profound understanding about what people meant.

New One’s Dad was the exception to the rule.  He had what his Mum termed a specific sense of humour.  Sometimes New One thought he meant one thing when actually he meant something else entirely.

It could be odd trying to guess at his Dad’s meaning and it was because of this that New One decided enough was enough.

New One decided that he should not come out and ask his Dad what he meant as that could be considered rude.  It was because of this that he thought he should implement for himself a code…

If his Dad said something slightly ambiguous then he would A) wiggle his eyebrows at him in a kind of I am not sure of what you implied by that statement way or B) keep staring at him until he got the message that his meaning was actually not clear.

It was a useful idea that New One had and that was until he tried to put it into practice, that was when it all started to go horribly wrong.  The first time that the Not Sure if that is a Joke System was engaged was when the family had guests.  The invited neighbours sat in the living room with New One and chatted with him about school and all was well until Dad walked in with Lana.  It was at that moment that Dad decided to tell one of his jokes or at least New One thought that it may well be a joke but to be honest was not all that sure…

New One’s Dad began to tell the neighbours about Lana’s most recent walk where she got a bit too excitable with the nearby farm’s gaggle of geese and accidently formed a kind of you follow me I’ll follow you form of acquaintance with them.  They now, according to Dad, had a whole flock of geese outside in the garden.  New One fought the urge to go out to the kitchen and check on the status of what had been their private garden.  Instead he decided to instil the Not Sure if that is a Joke System and waggled his eyebrows meaningfully at his Dad.  This got no reaction from the teller of the tale but the neighbours did start to smile.  This made New One even more unsure of whether the joke was in fact a joke or not and so he moved on to the part B) of the System and started on the questioning stares…

The System far from gaining a moment of clarity from Dad only made the pair look at each other oddly and not wanting to appear rude New One had to finally admit defeat and run out to check if the geese were there or not.

A little later and New One found himself with the same problem again as over drinks his Dad told them all about his latest project at work.  It had been his first in a long while as work had been quiet and he told everyone and on a whim stated that he had decided to go up to his boss at the first available opportunity and tell him that he was going to quit and was instead going to take up a job as New One’s personal secretary because he had started to get such an active social diary that he was nearly always chauffeuring him around to some place or another.  Again, New One was made to think.  Surely his Dad was not serious.  Was he?  If so, then what would that mean for his job?  He did not think it a wise idea at all for his Dad to give up his job for the needs of him or his outings.

New One waggled his eyebrows at Dad meaningfully.  When that gained nothing but a puzzled look in response from him, New One moved on to the stare but Dad continued to defiantly not clarify the situation.  The neighbours though, watched the scene with absolute amusement.  In the end it took a question from Mum to clear the whole thing up.  “What was going on?”

An explanation from New One and a look of embarrassment from a Dad and the evening was complete.  New One’s Mum had to have a word with him about the importance of talking to them when he did not understand something and hence he learnt that maybe there was a bit more to understanding than he had thought.  Dad had a little talk of his own with New One and explained that he did not know he was having such a problem interpreting his jokes.  He promised to tell him when he was joking and even agreed that they could have a System of their own to ensure that he got his meaning.

New One was much happier about the meaning of his Dad’s jokes and even laughed at a few of them.  More importantly he needed not to ever use the Not Sure if that is a Joke System again.