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Hitting Up Dive Bars And Other Things Guys Do With Their Dads Behind Mom’s Back

At one time or another, you probably had the following experience: Your father did something — gave you a sip of beer, took you to an R-rated movie, ordered you both a pizza when he swore he was steaming broccoli — and then, with a conspiratorial wink, said, “Don’t tell your mother.”

That can be a pretty formative experience for a kid — it was for these 6 guys. They’re all leaders in their respective fields, and they each have a pretty funny story to tell about the things their own dads with them behind their mom’s back. And, just like you, they never said a word.

Michael Chernow: Founder of The Meatball Shop
“My dad used to let me stay up and watch horror movies with him after my mom would go to bed. He always used to tell me I couldn’t tell my mom. She probably still doesn’t know that he would come get me out of my bed after she would go to bed so we could watch scary movies together. I was 6, maybe 5.”

Lawrence Brownlee: Grammy-Nominated Opera Singer
“My father bought a go-kart for my brother and myself. We were out in a track behind our house because we lived right behind a junior high school with a big track. We were out there doing all kinds of stunts and stuff like that. I’m sure my mother would have had a heart attack if she had seen that. My father wouldn’t do that in front of her. He just sort of willy nilly started jumping, and we were like “Oh, let’s do that too!” Finally, he said, ‘OK we have to stop that.’ The idea was like, ‘Don’t tell your mother we’re out here doing things that could get us killed.'”

Jeff Krasno: Founder of Wanderlust
“I lived in Connecticut. Every once in a while, he would come home from work and we would go to the Mets game. We’d just zip off. He’d say, ‘Jeff, get in the car.’ And there wouldn’t be a lot of discussion about it. It was always just a surprise and delight moment. We would zip off to Shea Stadium back in the days when you could spend like 7 bucks and sit on third base.”

Guy Raz: Host of NPR’s TED Radio Hour
“Me and my dad would eat junk food. We’d go have an In and Out burger or a Tommy’s burger with chili, or get ice cream or slurpees. Way before it was cool, my mom was feeding us things like kale and quinoa and carob instead of chocolate. We never had refined sugar in the house. We always had like whole grain bread. We didn’t eat breakfast there. We didn’t have cookies. But my dad understood that we loved that stuff, so we would go sneak and get like a greasy burger, slurpees, liquorice, and all that kind of stuff.”

Disco Donnie: “Godfather of EDM”
“I, well, [chuckles] my dad would yeah [chuckles longer]. My dad would, uh, I don’t know if this is good for your article. My dad was doing a lot of stuff that was hid from my mom, and I didn’t know. He would take me all over town to different places like a golf course or a bar or something and tell me, ‘Don’t tell Mom.’ And I was like ‘Oh no, I wouldn’t.’ I was having too much fun.”

Spencer Kympton: Army Veteran and President of The Mission Continues
“My dad was big into old cars and drove old race cars when I was young. Let’s just say he would often exceed the speed limit at times when I was in the car. At the end of that trip, whatever it was — whether the grocery store or longer than that — the end of the trip would always be, ‘Don’t tell mom about that.'”