If I never see “60 Minutes” again it will be too soon, that being one of several expressions I picked up during a time in my life when I was hanging out with a crowd some of whose elements might have been considered rather unsavory then but are now if not mainstream at least tributary. Another was “Come here often?” “Not often.” “How often?” “Every night.”

There were others, but I will not tax you with them now, as my concern is more with “60 Minutes,” which my friend John calls an “upscale ‘Candid Camera,’” but since I have not seen it for years, nor “Candid Camera,” for that matter, though who could ever forget “Smile! You’re on ‘Candid Camera!’,” which I am sure made some people want to absolutely die on the spot, and why they didn’t makes me think “Candid Camera” was very lucky, a lot luckier than Dick Cavett and “The Dick Cavett Show,” on which J.I. Rodale, the father of all things organic, expired in 1970, having just announced that he had “never felt better” in his life and planned to “live to be 100,” and while Wikipedia (dear Wikipedia! Where would I, or you, be without it? I have seldom if ever been happier to make a donation to some worthy cause) says the episode was never shown, I have somewhere in my vast archives (such a more elegant term than “junk”) a photo a friend snapped of the TV screen at the very moment Mr. Rodale was literally sliding out of his chair into eternity, which I hope for his sake was organic, and which if it wasn’t then I am certain is now, though I am in no hurry to find out, although I don’t think what is termed organic today bears much resemblance, if any, to what Mr. Rodale considered organic, since as happens with most good ideas — the TV among them, and I am coming to that — it has been bowdlerized (not really, but I have been looking for a spot to use the word, and it’s not too much of a stretch, but perhaps de-bowdlerized would be better, as instead of taking out the offending words people have added a whole lot that were never there in the first place) — as happens with most good ideas, as I was saying, it has been commercialized and popularized and mediocriticized to the point where it seems to be just another dreary construct from a Madison Avenue ad agency.

Ah, yes — “60 Minutes.” Since crossing over to the other side and joining the growing company of people who have stopped watching the TV (and we are a little like former smokers, proud of ourselves and a tad condescending when friends discuss TV shows and the discussion comes around to us and we say “I don’t have a TV,” and while there was a time when that might have made people think you were demented, more and more people are replying “I wish I didn’t have one, too,” and who knows? Perhaps they will go home and rip the cable from the wall and take the TV to the Swap Shop at the dump (so when was the last time you heard it called “the transfer station,” aside from a meeting of the board of selectmen or some other town officials?), where I am planning to take three plastic toilet seats, having replaced them with wooden ones, and a yardstick on which some of the more important markings — like inches — have worn away and been replaced by me with red lines).

On my exercycle for at least 90 minutes a day, I am reduced to watching TV after all, though only what comes from Amazon and Netflix to my Internet-enabled TV and CBS, where I have become a devotee of a true crime show called “48 Hours,” not to be confused with my favorite, “The First 48,” all of whose hundreds of episodes I have seen, some more than once, as I usually don’t remember who did it, and unhappily “48 Hours” comes with short little ads, nothing like the real things that take up so much television time these days (and in fact someone told me quite recently that the amount of time broadcasters can devote to the ads that pay for their broadcasts has gone up from 12 minutes every hour to 15 minutes, though since I don’t watch TV, except for the above, I cannot vouch for the truth of this comment). And one of those ads is for CBS TV, moribund like all networks but trying to put a good face on it with ads like the one that I have come to despise above all other ads, though I am so fast with my Mute finger that I hardly ever have to hear more than a couple of words, so my description of it will not be word for word but more of a précis (do they still use that word in English classes?). It starts out with the observation that every Sunday morning , all across America, something special happens, and as the ad spools (or unspools, if you like) it turns out that what is special is that everybody is watching a CBS morning show whose name escapes me and then “Face the Nation” and then “60 Minutes,” to whose mighty and magisterial presence they are summoned by the show’s tiresome trademark “Tick tick tick” sound, and that Sunday is the day when we spend the whole day with CBS, unlike other less appealing days, many hours of which I am reliably informed are also devoted to watching CBS or its ilk, though not the whole day, as on Sunday.

And I am absolutely irate at the suggestion that I would choose to spend my Sunday, which has always been a special day to me and millions of other people, for me because it is the day I can rest, though I seldom find it totally restful because I have spent so much time resting on Saturday that I am forced to do all the little things that flesh is heir to, like the laundry, or the mowing, or the tidying-up, or the mending or the patching or the cleaning of the litter boxes — well, you get the picture — the idea that I should spend my Sunday, or what is left of it after the chores listed above, watching CBS instead of being outside in the beautiful warm weather with the sun shining and the grass growing (re-growing, I should say, as my outing with the mower has put a serious if temporary dent in its maturing process) and the birds singing and soft breezes blowing and the sea murmuring as it caresses the rocky shore — I seem to have forgotten that I live in Maine, where the sun seldom shines for more than a few seconds at a time and the grass grows like wildfire so that you have no sooner mowed the lawn than you must start all over again, a little like Route 128 in Massachusetts, which the road menders no sooner get to the end of than they have to start again at the beginning, Massachusetts being a state notorious for its graft, much of which I have been led to believe is subsidized by highway construction, and the birds are too damned cold to sing, and the breezes are blowing about 60 m.p.h. And as for the sea murmuring, I haven’t heard it yet.