An amused father has been given a very singular birthday gift courtesy of his two cheeky adult sons.

Since Chris and Mike Ferry both live in Florida, they were sad that they could not be with their father in Linwood, New Jersey for his special day.

As kids, they would always celebrate their devoted dad’s birthday by going out to dinner and alerting the restaurant staffers of the special occasion so they would “make a fuss” on his behalf.

Because they could not continue their mischievous tradition, however, they decided to recruit some outside help.

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Their father, Christopher Ferry, was oblivious to their plans until last week when he woke up to a text message from a number he did not recognize.

“Thursday morning, I got a text that said ‘Happy Birthday,’ and I said, ‘Who’s this?’” Ferry told CBS3. “‘Nick.’ ‘Nick who?’ ‘Oh, you don’t know me.’ ‘How do you know it’s my birthday?’ ‘I read it on a billboard.’”

Sure enough, Mike and Chris had taken out an entire billboard reading “Wish My Dad a Happy Birthday – Love, Your Sons.” The billboard also featured Ferry’s name, face, and phone number.

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Initially, they only expected their father to receive birthday well wishes from friends and family members who recognized his face – but with the billboard hanging above the Black Horse Turnpike in Atlantic City, his phone quickly became flooded with messages and voicemails from total strangers wishing him a happy birthday.

The billboard prank has made Ferry something of a local celebrity, too. Ferry said: “The waitress recognized me, she said, ‘Oh, you’re the billboard dad’ — so that’s my new handle, I’m the billboard dad. I love it, it’s really cool.”

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Though the slew of well wishes has pretty much rendered Ferry’s phone temporarily unusable, he says that he is taking the outpouring of love in stride. As of yesterday, he had received over 15,000 well wishes from strangers – some of the messages included praise for raising such adoring sons; others included heartfelt anecdotes about their own fathers.

Regardless, it seems pretty safe to say that Chris and Mike have made up for their absence on Ferry’s birthday, which is on March 16th.

“We’re very excited to see my dad smile because he really deserves it,” said the brothers.

(WATCH the news coverage below) – Photo by CBS3

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