Off to ToonFest

September 18th, 2008 | Posted in General

I’m leaving this morning on the long drive down to Marceline, Missouri to attend the annual Walt Disney Hometown Toonfest, where as I mentioned before I will be emceeing the speaker events and speaking myself. It’s about a 7 hour drive through beautiful northern Iowa (insert snare drum rimshot here), land of windmills, plains and… uh… more windmills.

Along the way there will doubtless be at least one stop at a “Kum and Go“, which seem to be at every highway exit ramp in Iowa. Until I actually stopped at one I had thought it was a drive through brothel. I was further confused by their slogan: “We Go All Out!”. Wow, that’s even more wild than in Vegas, I was thinking. No wonder Bucky Jones lives in Iowa. As it turns out, it’s just another gas station and convenience store… just with a dirty sounding name. Oh well. I can still say I got a Slurpee at the Kum and Go.

I will also be on the lookout for a Taylor’s Maid-Rite resturant, home of the “loose meat” sandwich. In case you’ve been living under a rock in Iowa, or just else anywhere else in the United States, a “Loose meat” sandwich is a scoop or two of ground beef that has been fried up not in a patty but scattered to the corners of the grill, resulting in a “Sloppy Joe” but without the tomato sauce binder. They are a lot of fun to eat because, unlike their more boring cousin the “hamburger”, the Maid-Rite doesn’t just sit there in between the bun waiting for you to take a bite. Oh, no. You have to work a little harder than that! They dribble and splat out of all sides of the bun, resulting in entertaining and challenging methods of eating like the “from down under” and “snake bite snatch” techniques. Of course no matter how you do it, at least 1/3 of the sandwich has to be eaten with a spoon. A must stop.

IF I survive the drive through Iowa, I will surely be back here on the MAD Blog with a full play by play on Monday, with PHOTOS (possibly of a Kum and Go as well). In the meantime, there will still be the usual daily postings here on the MAD Blog thanks to the miracle of pre-date blogging.


  1. Trevour says:

    Have fun Tom! And yes, the best part of Kum & Go is the Koolee (their version of the Slurpee). Every Seven Eleven that existed around Fargo 10 years ago turned into a Kum & Go. I’m glad they didn’t get rid of that one convenience store staple. Make sure you try the “Twizzler” flavored Koolee… it really does taste like Twizzlers!

  2. Seems that you will be going through Kirksville, MO on HWY 63. I go to school there, at Truman State as a Visual Communication major. I live right across the street from Kum and Go and yeah we have many nicknames for it. If you happen to stop in Kirksville to eat, El Vaquero is the best mexican place around. It’s on the north side of Kirksville, on 63

  3. Bucky says:

    Tom, imagine my disappointment when I moved to Iowa thinking it was the hot bed of decedence…only to find out it was all about Loose Meat Sandwiches and Naughty sounding convenience stores. Sigh. That’s the story of my life.____Wish I had known you were driving through…..there’s a two Maid-Rites within a mile of my house! Next time, my friend, next time!!!____Hope you have a great weekend in Marceline!

  4. Mark Heng says:

    HAHAHA!!! Holy Moly, I clicked on that Maid-Rite Link…I don’t think I’ve had such a giggle shock in MONTHS!

  5. tadbarney says:

    MMmmmm. Maid-Rites. I LOVE Maid-Rites. With lots of mustard. No ketchup!

  6. LorenS says:

    On your adventure through Iowa in search of loose meat and quickie drive offs did you go through good old Cedar Rapids? Not sure which route you chose but in June the city was really living up to its name as just about the entire downtown was underwater. If you were on I 380 the bridge that crossed the river was the only one that was not closed because of water, yeah it was and still is a mess. Toonfest looked like a really good time I might have to check it out next year.



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