Thirty minutes into Ron Jeremy's Ron De Jeremy Spiced Rum bottle-signing, a modest but eager line of about ten had formed in Crown Wine & Spirits, at the corner of Sunrise and 15th Ave in Fort Lauderdale.
One by one, the middle-aged fans inched forward, clutching the dark brown bottle of rum in one hand and not quite knowing what to do with the other. The Wolfgang Puck of porn himself, Mr. Ron Jeremy, was polite and talkative as he signed his name next to the picture of his face -- much younger and seemingly caught in a profound epiphany -- that sits on the bottle's label.
How exactly did Ron Jeremy end up hawking spiced rum in Fort Lauderdale?
"I was actually approached. I've marketed rolling papers, skateboards, T-shirts, beef jerky, hot sauce, and these guys approached me for rum. And I said, 'Why me?' And they said to me, 'We need a famous Ron. Because 'Ron' is 'rum' in Spanish,'" the Guy Fieri of getting naughty explains.
Ron, like any good salesman, genuinely seemed to believe in his rum. And in his blue Crocs, black sweatpants, and T-shirt that said "Swashbucklers" on the front, he looked like a real regular you'd find at any local dive bar.
"We joke that Ron Reagan died, Ron Howard makes movies, Ronald McDonald makes hamburgers, and Enron makes crooks. Which basically left me," the Alton Brown of gettin' down says.
"You know, we're going up against Captain Morgan. We're stronger. We're 94 proof. People like this drink a lot. So we say, Captain Morgan is on one leg; I'm on three." Here, Jeremy quickly produced a harmonica -- from where, I still have no god-damned clue -- and gave it a tiny puff to punctuate his joke.
After guests got a signed bottle (for the bargain price of $16.95 including tax), they could get a picture with the Julia Child of getting wild. Or, if you were the lady in front of me, you could have your left boob squeezed to go along with your picture and signed bottle.
Ron De Jeremy Spiced Rum is described on its website as having "harmonious notes of fruit, oak and spice which are complemented by hints of vanilla and raw sugarcane on the long, elegant finish."
The rum kind of tastes like Sailor Jerry's older brother who's been to prison a couple of times on some possession charges. But it's not bad. I'd drink it.
And when I do, I'll drink it just like Ron would want: naked whilst making bad decisions.