A New Jersey father's birthday was particularly special this year because his two sons decided to prank him. Instead of sending him a card or buying an expensive gift, the two men decided to rent a billboard urging the public to greet their dad on his special day.
Birthday Gift Dilemma
Mike and Chris Ferry did not initially know what to give to their dad, who is also named Chris, on his 62nd birthday. The two live in Florida, so they have to be creative since their father lives in another state.
The younger Chris recently purchased a billboard outside Atlantic City for his addiction recovery center, so he thought they could get one for their dad as well.
Mike and Chris rented a billboard for $2,000. It read "Wish My Dad Happy Birthday - Love, Your Sons," and included their dad's photo and phone number.
15,000 Calls And Texts From Well-Wishers
The two sons thought people in the local area and friends would send their birthday wishes. They did not expect so many people to reach out to their dad.
The older Chris will be celebrating his 62nd birthday on March 16, but since the billboard went up on March 6, he already received more than 15,000 messages from all over the world.
Strangers from as far away as Kenya, Luxembourg, and the Philippines sent him birthday greetings. He also received birthday wishes from Caritas Island, a little island in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
The first stranger to greet him, however, is a guy named Nick who greeted him happy birthday via a text message.
Receiving thousands of voicemails and messages can be overwhelming. Despite being inundated with birthday greetings and having to record a new voicemail to thank well-wishers, the birthday celebrator said that prank had been more heartwarming than annoying.
"I'm getting things like, 'My father's birthday was March 16. He passed away. I'm contacting you in memory of him," Chris said. "It's a cool story, and I'm right in the middle of it, so I love it."