Maybe some humor is useful while we are all caught up in the depressing whirlwind of this Covid-19 pandemic. Recently, a silly math problem went viral on facebook about what appear to be prices for a doll, a pair of shoes and a pair of scarves (reproduced below). It is an example of how the public loves brain-teasers, odd puzzles with some math in them. What makes this interesting to me is that this playing with really meaningless math problems is something that mathematicians do too. There is an ancient tradition of ridiculous math problems that permeate the history of math, especially the history of algebra. I find it odd that no book on the History of Math points out how many algebra problems in every era are crazy concoctions whose main point is to show how smart their creator was or how nifty their discoverer's new tool is. It's a fascinating, not well-known side of math.