- Courtesy Of Tracy Rosen
- Tracy Rosen
Most Vermonters use Front Porch Forum to communicate with neighbors about local issues such as police budgets and missing pets. For the last five years, Tracy Rosen of Richmond has been using the online community-building service to make jokes, too. "Ducks and Cats Cannot Run for Selectboard," Rosen declared in one recent message to his fellow Richmond-ites. In another, he mused, "Should Dogs Have Dedicated Batting Cages?"
Rosen, owner of a software engineering company, refers to himself in the posts as a member of the Agency for Quasi-Intelligent Design, an alias intended to poke fun at what he calls the "anti-scientific" theory of intelligent design. He tries to keep his messages lighthearted and inoffensive, avoiding vulgar language or inappropriate innuendo in an attempt to give his audience a good laugh.
Rosen and his wife own three cats, five dogs, 12 ducks and 15 horses that provide him with inspiration. He thought up doggy batting cages after noticing that his pooches were uncoordinated as they lunged to catch treats. "If dogs could use a batting cage which tossed them various food objects at varying speeds, could the dogs learn to catch the food, not drool so much, and become productive citizens of this fine country?" his post from July 13 reads.
Rosen said the reception has been positive.
"People from time to time will actually see me in the supermarket ... and come up and say they enjoyed reading [my posts] and it gives them a nice break from the news of the day," he said.
Rod West, a Richmond resident who has known Rosen since Rosen moved to town 18 years ago, described the posts as quirky and offbeat, adding that they are "just the musings of a brilliant mind."
But Rosen admitted some of his posts have flopped. After one post that he now describes as "insensitive," he received an email that said, "You're an idiot."
"I sent him back an email and said, 'You're right,'" said Rosen.