Lest we let you focus just on the bigger stories in the financial press, such as J. P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) buying Bank One (NYSE:ONE), here's a brief recap of some recent and weird financial news:

  • Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) might want to be on the lookout for a new type of fraud. In Berlin, an angry man returned a computer that he'd just bought, claiming that instead of being filled with the usual components, it was full of. potatoes. He got his money back, but then came in with more potatoes, arousing suspicion.

  • Earlier this week, someone tried to auction off the state of West Virginia on eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY). Bidding nearly hit $100 million before it was removed from the auction block.

  • A roundup of stupid warnings on products reminds us about how some companies waste money by paying people to create them. As an example, a drain cleaner's label warned: "If you do not understand, or cannot read, all directions, cautions and warnings, do not use this product."

  • In Starbucks' (NASDAQ:SBUX) hometown of Seattle, restaurant patrons have a new taste treat to enjoy: coffee-flavored steak.

  • McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) should hope that what happened at a Burger King doesn't happen at its restaurants: Someone broke into its radio frequencies and announced on the intercom that certain patrons were too fat for the Whoppers they were ordering.

  • Gun maker Sturm, Ruger (NYSE:RGR) has reason to panic a little, as people find new ways to defend themselves. One recent report described an 88-year-old man faking a heart attack to foil an intruder, while another intruder was felled by a tea kettle. (Of course, some intruders are just looking to eat some chicken.)

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