Everybody likes being wished a happy birthday. Just perhaps not by over 15,000 people from around the world. That’s exactly what’s happened to Chris Ferry from New Jersey, after a birthday prank by his two sons went viral. Ferry, 61, is soon to be 62, and in continuing a tradition of family humor, his sons bought him a billboard as a birthday gift, reports CNN. "Wish my dad a happy birthday," reads the sign, and it includes a photo of Ferry and his cell number. The billboard went up on March 6th, although Ferry’s actual birthday isn’t until the 16th. After receiving his first birthday text from a random stranger and hearing about the billboard, Ferry drove to it and took a selfie. The picture went viral. Since then he’s been inundated by messages and calls.
People around the world have "clogged his phone" with texts and calls, writes the BBC. Some have opted to sing "Happy Birthday" on the line, while others have regaled Ferry with personal stories about their own fathers. "We thought it was going to be a local joke," says son Chris Jr. "I guess when we put it on social media, that's when it really started going crazy.” Ferry has been contacted by people from the Philippines, Kenya, Luxembourg, Ireland, Guatemala, Nepal, and Australia. Even though the prank has rendered his phone almost useless, Ferry is enjoying the gesture, reports Fox News. "He’s trying to answer as many texts as he can, he’s answering phone calls," explains Chris Jr. "He’s actually really getting a kick out of this." (Read more billboards stories.)