Friends have started calling David Ricks "Dr. Love" since the sizzling appearance he and his wife, Gail, made last week on NBC's "Today" show.
The segment, in which the Twin Cities couple enthusiastically participated in Hoda Kotb's "Is Sex Better After 50?" interview, was part of a series of stories devoted to Kotb turning 50 on Friday (http://tinyurl.com/ozlqd7t).
The Ricks were the couple shooting both their hands in the air, as though a touchdown had been scored, when Kotb asked members of the group to "Raise your hand if your sex life is good." David is the half of this couple whose admission that he had started wearing colorful underwear caused Hoda's eyes to scream a little.
I did not realize there was a Twin Cities couple on that show, taped at NYC's Museum of Sex, until I received an e-mail from a Lynchburg, Va., anchor/reporter by the name of Dhomonique Ricks: "Local couple back in town after being featured on the Today Show!"
Dhomonique has a brother, Grandville Ricks — happy birthday! — and parents for whom the sex talk was absolutely no sweat.
David, a retired high school administrator, and Gail, a teacher, are owners of Sheer Treasures, an upscale ethnic health boutique in Blaine's Northtown Mall.
A few weeks ago, he was watching "Today" when the call went out for viewers who might participate in a couples-and-intimacy segment. "As soon as I arrived at the store I sent a very brief e-mail and a photograph. We had just come back from our 33rd wedding anniversary in the Dominican Republic, and within 30 minutes I received a [return] call," he said. "[A producer] interviewed me on the phone, and then she wanted to call Gail, who was out jogging. Then [the "Today" producer] called us back and said we would be on the show."
I have seen the Dominican Republic anniversary photo taken on the beach. It's not racy, but you can feel the heat.
"Some people are kind of shy about that topic, and they don't know what to say, so they don't say anything. You know what I mean?" he said. "It's what people do. Maybe we are an unusual couple. That's why I was excited they chose us to be on the 'Today Show,' and so was Gail. This is wonderful. My mother didn't think it was a good idea. She didn't think it was a good idea at all. She said: Why would you want to do that? I said, 'Why not?' I have no regrets about it. I would think everybody would like to be on TV for something positive. I think we did what a lot of people would like to do but don't have the courage to do. Even people who have come into our store are kind of like [he affects a mealymouth tone] We saw you. They don't have a lot of conversation. I don't think they're probably having much sex. They are probably in that 24 percent category of people [in the 'Today' survey] who don't have sex. It's like when you run into people who have a whole lot of money, I don't, and it affects people around them."
David may not have a lot of money, but he and Gail have a great sex life.
"You've got to have something," said David, "otherwise why live, why work? If you are proud of what you do — Gail teaches, she's proud of teaching; I'm proud of our store — you live a positive life."
I'm positive David can brace for a fair amount of ribbing about showing his sexy underwear on national TV. Gail likes it too, but said the briefs are probably a bigger turn-on for David.
"People want to know if we're selling the underwear," said David, suddenly sounding like he'd hit on a new marketing idea. "I probably can."
I asked Gail what she's going to think when strange women come up to ask David what color underwear he's wearing. "I don't have a problem with that," she said, with a long laugh.
Told she'd said that, David said, "She knows we're together, 33 years. She's not worried about me."
Kevin Love's not-yet-consummated Timberwolves to Cavaliers exit inspired me to post a list of songs, some of which are about Love gone wrong, on the web Monday.
Angela Bofill's "Time to Say Goodbye" lyrics say it all.
C.J. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and seen on Fox 9's "Buzz." E-mailers, please state a subject; "Hello" does not count. Attachments are not opened.