“Holy shit,” I hear a man’s loud American accent float towards me from somewhere near the entrance of the beach bar. “Is that Ron Jeremy?”
It never fails. Every weekend tourists flock to the island of Cozumel, pack themselves into the local watering holes and are shocked to see a robust man with a distinct sort of face, a thick moustache, a broad chest and dark brown hair peppered with grey. Today he’s wearing a black muscle shirt that says, “I’m a HOT guy!” Ron Jeremy he’s not, but German Lino is as close to the famous adult film star as you can get in Cozumel, Mexico.
German hears the same voice I do and grins at me from across the table. His girlfriend, Kinga, just shakes her head and takes a mouthful from her glass of beer. “No mames - unbelievable.” The Puerto Rican gets called out as Ron Jeremy so often that when he started dating Kinga she got confused and had to look up German’s alter-ego on Wikipedia. She was impressed.
Vacationers from near and far have met German Lino in San Miguel de Cozumel and immediately assumed he was the legendary porn star from Orgazmo *and *Debbie Does Dallas Part II. Of course, he doesn’t do much to dissuade them.
“Heyyyy,” he calls to the American’s girlfriend, putting on his best come-hither look. “You want a photo?”
“Oh, my God!” says her boyfriend, grinning from ear to ear. “Do it!”
She looks a bit shy at first, but when German stands up from his seat and throws an arm around her, the woman relaxes. She smiles and points at him while her guy snaps several photos with his phone. Afterwards “Ron Jeremy” hugs his new lady friend and shakes hands with her still-grinning boyfriend before returning to his seat. He says little, and in their glee the tourists don’t notice his Spanish accent.
German has posed in countless tourist photos like these, happy to oblige the wishes of his “fans,” but even he is surprised at some of the other cool stuff being a Ron Jeremy lookalike has netted him.
“When I had the longer hair,” he tells me, “there were so many people asking me about porn and sex I couldn’t believe it. Every weekend, American and Canadian and European people would come into the Hard Rock Café where I was playing the drums and buy me all the drinks I needed for the rest of the night. They told me they never knew I was also a musician.”
His smile widens in memory.
“One time, a guy sat drinking with me for like an hour, telling me how I should do a porno as a character who is a drummer. He had a whole story for it!”
He laughs, and Kinga tells me, “Sometimes I think he should just do it – I mean what is the big deal? Extra money for us!”
German looks at her in surprise.
“You want to make a sex movie with me?!”
She shrugs and mumbles into her glass.
“Well maybe, I don’t know…”
He looks at me and winks.
“She used to be an exotic dancer, you know.”
She shushes him, but smiles.
When he isn’t inspiring would-be porn writers or accepting drinks, nachos and other odds and ends from mistakenly star-struck tourists, German finds himself asked regularly for sex advice.
“A girl asked me one time – obviously just because she thought I was a porn star – for advice on how to give her boyfriend a good blowjob,” he said.
He puts his hands up in mock surrender, and tells me, “I told her to take the whole thing and swallow!”
His boisterous laugh catches the attention of the American couple now on the other side of the bar, and they raise their glasses to him in a long-distance toast.
“Salut!” he yells to them. “Oh, fuck, I mean cheers!”
Kinga laughs with him. “Wow. It is good advice, really. But German, you are forgetting that man with the business plan for you…”
He slaps the table with both hands. “Oh, right! The guy that wanted to hire me!” German shakes his head and explains. “This guy came a few nights to the Hard Rock, si? He was just on vacation, I think, scuba diving for a week or something. Anyway, the first night he didn’t say much to me, but he did buy me a beer. The second night, he got completely wasted. Like, he didn’t even know his name kind of wasted. And he tells me, he wants to give me $20,000 American dollars to help him set up a porno company on the island!”
Apparently this late-night business plan involved rounding up some of the girls from the nearby strip club and contracting them for half a dozen adult films that would be filmed on the beach. As for German, the man wanted “Ron Jeremy” to sign his own contract and accept a check – immediately – for his publicity services and roles within the movies.
“The check book was in his hand!” German exclaims, still unable to believe it himself. “I mean, I don’t know what the real guy gets paid, but $20,000 is enough for me!”
It’s definitely not a bad amount for your first adult flick, that’s for sure. Of course, he’d never have been able to cash the check. Which is too bad.
German shrugs and finishes his drink. “It’s just a bit of fun for me. It happens less now that I had to cut my hair for work. Maybe one day I will have it long and crazy again and go back to playing the drums.”
Lunch break is over, and it’s time to get back to the grind. I watch him go, and he looks for all the world like Ron Jeremy with his hair neatly trimmed, off to sell timeshares. He should have made that guy write out the check to Kinga. Next time, maybe.