The message hit my inbox like a poke to the eye: “Do you want to go jet-packing with Rob Lowe?”
The “Parks and Recreation” star, I was later told, aims to promote InsideHook.com, a daily lifestyle email that provides recommendations for male-oriented adventures in New York and, now, in Los Angeles. Lowe serves as curator and celebrity ambassador to the brand’s West Coast offshoot, but the gig is more than a paycheck for the former Brat Pack member and longtime Angeleno; he’s an avid surfer and adventurer who longs for newer, stranger Southland adventures, like driving a Bentley on ice (that actually happened) and, of course, jet-packing.
You know, like Iron Man.
Iron Man, though, is a fictional superhero. Normal, real-life people don’t do this stuff -- unless your name is Rob Lowe. And if you went to high school with Robert Downey Jr., and you’re now somewhat-openly lobbying for his role in “Iron Man 4.”
That’s how I found myself at JetLev Southwest at Newport Beach, Calif., caught in the middle of a pissing contest between former classmates, fastened to a water-propelled jet pack while cursing Lowe under my breath and praying I don't pull the lever that sends me hurtling toward Afghanistan like some errant drone.
Turns out, it wasn’t that scary -- “water-propelled” isn’t akin to “jet-fueled.” Still, it was a risky proposition: Each jet pack costs $70,000, and ESPN, bless them, did not have me covered.
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