March 11 (UPI) -- A New Jersey man is fielding a flood of calls and text messages after his sons took out a billboard asking people to send him birthday greetings.
Chris Ferry said he woke early one morning at his Linwood home to phone calls from birthday well-wishers who told him they had seen a billboard bearing his photo and phone number, with a message asking viewers to wish him a happy birthday.
Ferry, who turns 62 March 16, said he knew his sons were behind the prank even before he knew they had signed the billboard.
"I'm probably up to about 10,000 calls, voicemails and texts," Ferry told KYW Newsradio.
He said some people just want to give him a quick birthday greeting, but others engage him in conversation.
"They get me on the phone, they want to talk to me, they want to tell me about their most memorable birthday," he said. "People say, 'I lost my dad last year.' I had one guy tell me 'I tried to call my father to tell him about the billboard and he didn't pick up, so I figured I would call you to talk to you and now you're not picking up.'"
Ferry's son, Christopher Ferry Jr., said he and his brother, who both live in Florida, wanted to make their dad's birthday special.
"We wanted it to be a birthday for him to remember," he said. "Yeah, there was a little piece of me that was scared at first, putting his phone number out there, but we thought to ourselves 'go big or go home.''