Lest you focus your attention solely on bargain stocks in this market, or stocks likely to double soon, here's a brief recap of some of the past week's more unusual financial news:

The economy in brief(s)
If you're trying to figure out how healthy or ill the economy is, forget the usual indicators. Housing starts? Unemployment? The traffic at your local Home Depot (NYSE:HD)? Bah! The real key, as Alan Greenspan once mentioned, is underwear.

When the economy starts to slump, one of the first things that men cut back on buying is underwear, apparently. If that's the case, it'd seem that Hanesbrands (NYSE:HBI) and Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-B) (which owns Fruit of the Loom) might offer the best read on the American economy. According to one analyst, men's underwear sales fell 12% between January 2008 and January 2009, before stabilizing in February and March. Is it too much to hope that bikini briefs bore the bulk of that sales slump?

Your telephone company in action
Here's the kind of press most companies should avoid. An Ohio newspaper reported that during a search for a missing person, the police asked Verizon (NYSE:VZ) to briefly turn on the person's cell phone to try to locate him. According to the police officer working the case, the Verizon operator would only turn it on if the officer agreed to pay $20 of the man's overdue bill first.

The weiner, and still champion …
Listen up, Kraft Foods (NYSE:KFT) and Sara Lee (NYSE:SLE). Why sell your Oscar Mayer or Ball Park franks in puny little eight-packs? Instead, consider making a big deal about competitive eater Joey Chestnut's recent record-setting 68-dog meal. Imagine the boost to sales if you could offer an exclusive Chestnut-sized 68-pack of hot dogs.

Dear Cap'n Crunch: I am outraged!
's (NYSE:PEP) lawyers had a little work to do recently, when a plaintiff sued its Quaker Oats division, alleging that the name and design of its Crunch Berries cereal box misled consumers into thinking that the cereal contained "real fruit content." A judge ruled in Pepsi's favor. In that spirit, perhaps New York City should avoid lawsuits by clarifying that it's not actually a large red apple.

Now that you've (hopefully) been amused, check out our other Foolish articles in Fooldom for a little education -- and perhaps some enrichment, too.

Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Home Depot, and PepsiCo. The Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, which is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Berkshire Hathaway and Home Depot are Motley Fool Inside Value selections. PepsiCo is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. Try our investing newsletters free for 30 days. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy suspects that Cap'n Crunch may not be an actual captain, either.