Healthy
Herbie and his neighbor, Selfish Face, played together in the backyard sandbox
at Selfish Face’s house.

"I’m gonna
make a castle and then the knights are gonna have a war!" Selfish Face
exclaimed. His eyes shimmered with racist hatred as he filled a small plastic
bucket with sand.

"No!"
Healthy Herbie replied. He held up a sign with the word "NO" on it as well.

"Why not?"
Asked Selfish Face. "And where’d you get that sign?"

"I always
carry this," Healthy Herbie replied, holding his sign high and with much
patriotism. "My teacher says it protects my rights not to be defended."

"Your
what?" Selfish Face asked, looking ignorant and hateful.

"I’m saying
‘no’ because you defended me," Healthy Herbie said firmly. "And because that’s
not nice. And castles are for evil rich people. And you shouldn’t play violent
games, either."

"Oh?"
Selfish Face was angry that his neighbor was being so open-minded.

Healthy
Herbie said, "And you shouldn’t destroy the environment by making sand castles,
either."

"But, it’s
a sandbox," Selfish Face replied. "I just wanna play in the sandbox."

"You’ll
ruin the climate, and then there’ll be earthquakes."

"Prove it,"
Selfish Face said, slamming the bucket down into the sand.

Healthy
Herbie then stood, shouting, "See something, say something!" and took off in a
full sprint for his house.

Healthy
Herbie’s father heard the commotion and opened the door just as his son stepped
onto the front porch. "Why, Healthy Herbie, what’s the matter?"

"Selfish
Face defended me!" Healthy Herbie cried.

"Whaa? Do
you mean to say he O-fended you, son?" His father asked.

"I guess
so? I don’t know. All I know is he said he wanted to build a sand castle and
play knights and make a war, and then I said that was bad, and then I told him
about destroying the environment and he said I had to prove it, and I don’t
like being told to prove it, and he can’t say that to me if I don’t like it."

"You’re
right, son. But that’s what selfish faces do. It’s up to us open-minded and
healthy patriots to teach them how to think."

"How do we
do that?" Healthy Herbie asked.

Selfish
Face walked across the yard and toward the neighbors’ front porch, his mouth
curled into an evil, ignorant, selfish snarl.

Healthy
Herbie’s father looked at the selfish child coming across the yard and then bent
at the waist to whisper into his son’s ear. "I’ll show you how, son." Then he
straightened himself and called out to Selfish Face: "Hi, Selfish Face, won’t you
come inside for a minute? I have something important to teach you."

Selfish
Face stopped short of the porch, folded his arms and stood, pouting. "I just
came to say that I didn’t do anything to Healthy Herbie."

"Well, he
says you wanted to play war." Healthy Herbie’s father replied.

"Yeah. So?"

"You can’t
be so violent, Selfish Face."

Selfish
Face shrugged his shoulders. "I’m seven years old. What should I play?"

"How about
catch?"

Selfish
Face looked even more selfish then as he said, "But we played catch yesterday
and Healthy Herbie got mad at me because he dropped the ball."

"You made
me drop it!" Healthy Herbie shouted with much courage.

"Did not!"

"Did too!"

Healthy
Herbie’s father cleared his throat and said, "Boys, that’s enough!" Then he
leaned in close to Selfish Face and said, "Well, it’s never too early to start
being open-minded and patriotic."

"But I
wasn’t hurting anybody," Selfish Face whined.

"Well, what
about the sandbox? Haven’t your parents taught you not to destroy the
environment?"

Selfish
Face was confused by his bitter ignorance. "But, it’s a sandbox. An-an-and, and
I wasn’t littering."

"Your
racism is littering!" Healthy Herbie blurted out, inspired by his sense of
social justice.

"What’s
racism?" Selfish Face said, probably lying, the racist little bastard.

"Why don’t
you come inside," Healthy Herbie’s dad replied. "It won’t take long. I
promise."

"Well,"
Selfish Face said, "Fine."

* * *

Once
inside, Healthy Herbie’s father led the boys down to the basement, which was
divided into two rooms. In one room was a chair fitted with restraints. In the
other sat a desk, chair and a one-way window looking into the room with the
chair. There was an intercom microphone atop the desk.

Selfish
Face was taken to the room with the single chair and strapped in with the
restraints. He whined about his ineffective and racist parents "missing" him if
he wasn’t home by supper (as if they ever would, the disgusting selfish racists).

Then Healthy
Herbie and his father went to the other room, and Healthy Herbie was instructed
to sit at the desk. Once Healthy Herbie was seated, his father handed him a
metal box with a red button on it. Then his father gave him a sheet of paper
with questions on it.

"Okay,
son," his father said, "here’s how this will work: You’re going to ask Selfish
Face these questions. The answers are provided below, so be sure not to read
the answers out loud."

"Okay,"
Healthy Herbie replied with patriotic and obedient courage.

"So you
read each question to Selfish Face, and if he answers correctly you move on to
the next question. If he gets it wrong, push the red button." He pointed at the
box.

"What does
that do, father?" Healthy Herbie asked.

"The chair
will give him an electric shock."

"But won’t
that kill him?"

His father
smiled. "Oh, no, just a little shock to teach him, that’s all." He nodded at
the paper in Healthy Herbie’s hand. "Go on, read the first question."

Healthy
Herbie keyed the mic and read the first question:

"There are
five food groups on MyPlate. They are: Fruits, grains, vegetables, dairy, and,"
he paused and waited for the answer.

Selfish
Face squirmed in his chair with bitter clinginess and said, "Uh, uh, meat?"

"Wrong! The
answer’s protein, you racist homophobe!" Healthy Herbie shouted as he pressed
the red button with great courage and open-minded justice to win the future.

THE END

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