This is more like a birthday PUNISHMENT than a present.  But anything for a laugh . . .

A 61-year-old guy in New Jersey named Chris Ferry got a text message the other day from someone wishing him a happy birthday, and he didn’t recognize the number.  So he texted back, and they said they got his phone number off a BILLBOARD.

It turned out Chris’s two sons secretly bought ad space on a billboard in Atlantic City.  And they put a photo of him on it, along with his number and a message that said, “Wish My Dad Happy Birthday . . . Love, Your Sons.”

They didn’t tell him about it, so he didn’t find out until people started calling.  And now he’s dealing with HUNDREDS of calls, texts, and voicemails a day.

He says he’s been averaging about one text a minute, and one phone call every two or three minutes.  And it’s not just people in Atlantic City.  One of his sons has 150,000 followers on social media.  So people from all over the WORLD are calling.

His sons weren’t sure if putting his number out there was a good idea.  But they wanted to do something special for his birthday, so they decided to “go big or go home.”  And yes, Chris sees the humor in it.

His birthday isn’t until this Saturday.  So if you want to send him a message, you’ve got time.  His number is 1-561-307-4879.

(ABC7 / UPI)