A father received thousands of birthday calls after his sons put his mobile number on a billboard.
This story sounds loving on the surface, but can you imagine receiving thousands of phone calls from strangers? It would get tiring very quickly – and then of course there’s always the worry that your personal phone number has been shared with the world.
But presumably sons Michael and Christopher Ferry didn’t consider, or just decided they were okay with, these downsides, and so they were more than willing to spend $2,000 on the huge poster displaying their dad’s digits to wish him happy birthday in New Jersey, while they were in Florida.
I suppose sending a card just wouldn’t have been a grand enough gesture.
The billboard went up near Atlantic City and showed a picture of 62-year-old Chris Ferry along with his phone number.
It also included a message encouraging passer-byers to get in touch, which read ‘Wish My Dad Happy Birthday — Love, Your Sons’.
And wish they did. The father’s phone rang non-stop as thousands of people got in touch to say happy birthday. The big day isn’t even until March 16, so I think the amount of good wishes is only going to go up!
Speaking about the popularity of the brilliant board to Inside Edition, Chris said:
Every state in the Union, Luxemburg, Kenya, Philippines, Caritas Island – that little island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, they tried calling me.
The father told CBS News he was first tipped off to the birthday surprise when he received a text message from someone named Nick, wishing him happy birthday.
He responded to the unknown number asking who it was, and Nick identified himself, adding:
You don’t know me but heard it is going to be your birthday, I saw it on a billboard.
Chris rushed out to see if the rumour was true, and sure enough found his own face beaming back at him from the huge poster.
The mischievous men behind the plot have said the board will definitely remain up for their father’s birthday on March 16, but it could even stay there for a whole month, making sure Chris’ birthday is well and truly milked.
Michael explained the background of the stunt to CBS News, explaining the sons would often tell servers in restaurants that it was their father’s birthday, just so they’d make a big fuss. The billboard was simply an extension of their prank.
Our idea behind it was to get people that know him to call him, we didn’t really think it would be thousands and thousands of people.
But we are taken back by it, and we’re very excited to see my dad smile because he really deserves it.
I think there’s only one thing left to say now – Happy Birthday, Chris!
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.