It’s a sign of the times from two Florida men who gave their dad a billboard instead of a card on his 62nd birthday.
Chris Ferry’s sons wanted to wish him a happy birthday, but they were in the Sunshine State and he was back home in New Jersey. So they decided to rent a billboard near Atlantic City for $2,000. The display featured his face and the words “Wish My Dad Happy Birthday — Love, Your Sons.”
Oh, they also included his phone number.
As a result, the billboard has been the gift that keeps on giving because Ferry’s phone has been ringing off the hook with calls and texts, according to Inside Edition.
“Every state in the union, Luxembourg, Nepal, Kenya, Philippines. … That little island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, they tried calling me,” Ferry told Inside Edition.
Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest of ABC’s “Live With Kelly and Ryan” also tried to call Ferry on the air Tuesday morning, but he missed that call. His mailbox was full.
Ferry estimates that he’s received more than 15,000 calls and texts so far, according to CBS New York.
For sons Chris and Mike, the billboard is the continuation of a childhood prank they used to play on their dad.
“They would always tell the waiter [or] waitress it’s my birthday, even though it wasn’t,” Ferry told the CBS station.
Ferry sees the humor in the prank, but he has stopped answering many of the calls and he’s also changed his voicemail, according to Philadelphia radio station KYW. His new message begins, “Thank you for calling to wish me a happy birthday, I really very much appreciate it …”
But while their dad seems OK with the present, son Chris admits he and his brother will have a hard time topping it next year.
“I don’t know,” he told Florida station WPBF TV. “Maybe try to get a bigger billboard?”
Ferry will probably have a lot more calls to deal with. The billboard is set to stay up until April 6, according to CBS New York.