Exploring the social etiquette of Couchsurfing.org—and how its rapid growth is challenging the community’s expectations of safety and mutual respect:
“Orange Acres takes all kinds, provided you follow a few simple rules:
• No alcoholics, crackheads, or members of the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, or PETA
• ‘[O]n the subject of hippies and rainbow people,’ please don’t wear patchouli oil: ‘That stuff stinks forever’—and bring your own pillowcase if you have dreadlocks.
• Happy Hour starts at 6:30 p.m.; during that time—and only during that time—you may drink beer or smoke pot. Do not get shitfaced or you will be thrown out of the house. If you drink and try to drive, Jeff will handcuff you to a chair and call the cops.
• Dogs and children must be on leashes. This is non-negotiable.
“‘The place really is not a commune; it is a dictatorship,’ Halvorson tells me.”