You know the joke format where a comedian begins "Blankty-blank is so bad..."
And the audience chimes in, "How bad is it?!"
Then you get the punchline and proceed to ROTFL? Or be amazed by how bad "it" must be? I have one for you, play along.
elle: Starvation during the Great Depression was so bad of a problem...
you: How bad was it?
elle: It was so bad, "There were so many... people starving in New York that the West African nation of Cameroon sent $3.77 in relief."
you: (Appropriate response: Gasp "Wow" in amazement. Things must have been the lowest of the low if perpetually starving Africans* tried to help someone else!!! And $3.77 must be equivalent to a billion to an African nation!!!
A few alternatives to this view. I just ran across the last two, so I need to read more deeply, but the first comes from a former student who just happens to be from Cameroon.