The following excerpts were taken from famed Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton's travel journal. They are republished here at his request to dissuade anyone from attempting to follow in his footsteps.

Dear Diary,

Sir Ernest Shackleton here. I've just returned from a three-year voyage to Antarctica. A trip where I had to save all 27 of my crew members after our ship was crushed by massive chunks of ice—you know, the kind of ice chunks with snappy attitudes that make fun of your clothes while they sink your ship, not knowing that you were raised by a single mother who was just doing the best she could.

Despite that, I'm already positively itching for my next adventure—or is that a rash? You can never tell as a professional explorer. In particular, I've been intrigued by the stories I've heard about a place called “IKEA.” And so, wanting to avoid doing three year's worth of laundry, I shall strike out once again, this time to conquer IKEA. Just  as soon as I get cream for this rash.

Hour 1

Here at IKEA with 27 of the bravest and toughest men… who were available on short notice. I don't know what to expect of this God forsaken place but I hope my crew is up for it, especially because I didn't tell them we were coming here. I think they've figured out that we aren't going to Golden Corral, which is their favorite because they all have the spirit of 70-year-old women from Ohio.

We made sure to pack all of our navigation gear and a year's worth of survival provisions—did they really think we were taking that to Golden Corral? I also made sure to pack 400 ChapSticks because trust me, you do not want to get chapped lips while exploring. You end up licking them more and that just dries them out. Then they crack. Then ice chunks make fun of you for your chapped lips and for having only one friend.

We had a team of sled dogs to help us carry the provisions but someone —Mike—let them go in this unreasonably vast parking lot and they've since become extremely feral yet organized enough to democratically elect a new dog leader. I didn't like his platform personally but he is very charismatic and a good boy.

Without the dogs, we're now limited to bringing only our essential equipment (mostly ChapStick). Despite the rocky start, I'm happy to report that my lips are not chapped—very hydrated, in fact, and they smell vaguely of raspberry.

Hour 2

Nobody panic but the entire crew is lost. It happened when we split up to become nimbler as we navigated through Living Rooms. We lost the half that was too nimble for their own good. I then ordered my half of the crew—the less nimble—to search for the nimbler half. By the time the less nimble group reached Work Spaces I realized that there was no way they could catch the nimbler half. They just didn't have enough nimbleness.

I've had to abandon my compass as well because IKEA, apparently, was not mapped out using common directions but instead some incomprehensible chutes and ladders scheme, rendering navigation devices useless.

Since losing all 27 men, I've set up camp in a child's play tent that looks like a miniature circus big top. It's near whiteout conditions out there with all of the white people and the constant screams of children and husbands making it impossible to call out for my crew. Instead, I have just lit 50 candles to function as my campfire while I draw up a plan.

My s'mores making was, unfortunately, interrupted when a mom yelled at me for “not bringing enough for everyone.” I explained to her how I'd never be so savage as to not bring enough for everyone but that my crew had the rest of the s'mores, and that our varying levels of nimbleness had led to this disaster of only having one s'more's worth of s'more materials. On the bright side of it all, my lips have never been so hydrated.

Hour 3 or 4  —  I Lost Track

There's ChapStick everywhere—furniture, curtains, and children stuck in timeout. My men must have been through here and tried to leave markings. Also, everyone keeps saying they've been through here when I ask.

I've made it to Bedrooms but the signs of my crew have stopped. How could this happen? Who will help me master this unreasonably large store, if not them?

Hour 5

I have emerged from IKEA, alone and now with too much stuff to load in the car myself. There were no signs of my crew in the Warehouse. May they rest easy in the parallel dimension I assume they fell into, likely having mistaken the portal to that universe for a Swedish chair with good back support.

It looks like in my low emotional state, operating purely on survival reflexes and one s'more's worth of energy, I've also forgotten a whole piece of my new Nordkisa open wardrobe with a sliding door. Should I venture back in? No, that's lunacy—that place is fucking nuts. Plus, I've only 18 ChapSticks left. Maybe we should have just gone to Golden Corral.

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