On eBay, the Starting Bid for a Single Twinkie Is Now $5,000

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Thus begins the Great Creme-Filled Sponge Cake Run of 2012.

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Snackcakepocalypse is nigh. 

With the sad news today that Hostess is closing came even more sad tidings: America's favorite golden-hued snack food -- the plastic-wrapped cylinder that has inspired everyone from scientists to ghostbusters to photographers to lawyers to the owners of deep-fat fryers -- the cake whose sponge is made airy by the laughter of children and whose creme is made silky by the tears of the angels -- will be no more. At least in its current, Hostess-hosted form.

Even if America's iconic lard-log is dying, however, its entrepreneurial spirit is very much alive. Which is evidenced by the market for Twinkies and Twinkie-related products that is currently emerging on eBay. According to prices set by the sellers on the auction site, if you want a piece of air-puffed, sugar-soaked, corn-fed American history ... it is going to cost you. 

Here's what's currently up for sale and bid on eBay:

Yes. One hopes -- one assumes -- that some of these are just jokes, irony-by-way-of-eBay. Then again, maybe we could all stand to be a little more diligent about preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse. And this isn't the first time, it's worth noting, that eBay has opened its auction platform to overpriced industrial snack foods. Back in 2000, when workers for the corporate bakery that produced Twinkies went on strike, 20 batches from the ''great Twinkie famine of 2000'' were put up for bid. The top offer? $5,150.

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Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic. She was formerly an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab, where she wrote about innovations in the media.

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