Lest you focus only on the more serious stories in the financial press, such as the rising price of gas or fashion retailer Chico's
- As my friend Tyler Cowen likes to point out at his marginalrevolution.com economic blog, there are markets in everything. A library in the Netherlands, for example, is renting out ... people. If your social circle is narrow and you'd like to meet and perhaps ask questions of a gay man or a gypsy or a politician or a veiled Muslim woman, you can borrow one from the library. Meanwhile, a firm in Jodhpur, India, is offering wedding guests for rent. If you fear a skimpy attendance at your shindig, you can now hire some well-dressed and well-mannered guests. Temporary services companies such as Manpower
(NYSE:MAN)-- are you paying attention? There may be a new business line here for you.
- Banks may have something to worry about. I learned from Cecil Adams at thestraightdope.com that technically, we don't need to use the not-inexpensive checks we buy from our local Wells Fargo
(NYSE:WFC)or Wachovia (NYSE:WB)bank, or from other check printers. It seems that as long as we include "the name of the payee, the dollar amount, the name of your bank, your signature, the date, and some suitable words of conveyance, such as 'pay to the order of,'" we can write a check on a Post-it. (The catch is that not every entity will accept such a check.) Adams related an incident where a check was written on a door that was then dropped on the recipient and another where a check was written on a cow.
- Super-investor Warren Buffett would be proud. His Berkshire Hathaway
(NYSE:BRKa) (NYSE:BRKb)firm owns Dairy Queen, and in Buffalo (where Berkshire also owns the local paper, The Buffalo News), a Dairy Queen owner who owed $10 to a library for a book that was overdue for some 24 years coughed up much more than that. Joel Schlesinger was only charged the maximum fine, but he voluntarily paid what he thought he really owed -- $0.25 per day, for a total of $2,190. He also returned the book, The Joy of Camping.
- Here's a story that Snapple owner Cadbury-Schweppes
(NYSE:CSG)might be trying to forget: Back in June, an attempt was made to construct the world's largest popsicle, made of Snapple's kiwi-strawberry beverage, in Manhattan's busy Union Square. Unfortunately, the temperature was 80 degrees and the 25-foot-tall, 17.5-ton creation melted faster than anticipated, creating a messy, sticky, pink river.
If you think these stories are just plain silly and you crave some serious stock investment ideas, check out our suite of stock and mutual fund newsletters, which deliver promising recommendations each month. Or just curl up with an informative and amusing Fool book.
Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. The Fool has a disclosure policy.
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