ARCATA PLAZA, APRIL 1 – It turns out that the mysterious Arcata Community Forest cabin that has captivated imaginations across the country has a downtown counterpart.
Last week, after chasing down a shoplifting suspect, APD Downtown Officer Luke Scown stopped to retrieve the evidence, a McTel’s Lemon Pie nicked from Arcata Liquors.
On looking up, he noticed a detail of the Plaza that had eluded even him, and somehow everyone else up till then – a small shack, apparently inhabited.
“Talk about hiding in plain sight,” Scown said. “I guess I just never really looked in that area before.”
Scown called in Park Ranger Heidi Groszman, and the two entered the stealthy domicile. Inside, they found a young couple who said they’d been living there for three months.
The Plazoid homesteaders, Hamburglar and Turnip, subsisted on food and liquor jettisoned by fleeing shoplifters like the one Scown had just nabbed, and raking in cannabis nugs that drop from the hordes of saggy-panted slumpabouts.
“Dewd, like I was ready to like, pounce on that lemon pie,” Hamburglar admitted to Scown in a mewling cannabis drawl.
The “little house on the squarey,” as Turnip calls it, is built from upcycled scaffolding that had apparently never been taken down after the construction of the McKinley statue in 1906. That’s another detail that had gone unnoticed, though not by the young back-to-the-landers.
“We like to turn found objects into life fulfillment,” Turnip said.
Groszman said APD would return at some point to serve a Notice of Nuisance. “That is, if we can find the place again,” she added. She left a trail of marijuana buds confiscated from the shack to lead back to the front door, but these were quickly snatched up by eager Plazoids.
Hamburglar didn’t seem too concerned, and went off to tend his small herd of goats, penned up near his cornfield next to the palm trees and Hall of Tunics.