June 2nd, 2008
05:07 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: It’s a Monday

Erica Hill
AC360° Correspondent

When I saw the headline this morning about higher rates of cancer among children in the Northeast, I immediately thought of two things: (1) my son and (2) A Civil Action, the book (and later a movie starring John Travolta) about the community of Woburn, MA and the unnaturally high numbers of people – especially children – who developed leukemia. If you’ve never read the book, I highly recommend it with one caveat: it may make you angry, appalled and very, very frustrated.

The study from the CDC is based on data representing 90 percent of the US population. While the initial headline is scary, there is some “good” news here, mainly the fact that cancer does remain relatively rare in children (if only it was extinct!). As for the high rates in my area of the country, one reason could be because of more reporting and better care.

I admit I am not a fashion plate when I fly, but I do try to look respectable and to avoid looking disheveled. I go for easy on-off shoes (flats, usually…plus I feel a little more put-together in shoes as opposed to sneakers), and clothes that wear well and can stand-up to the demands of an 18 month old. I’m not a fan of flying in p.j.s, even for my son. Call me old-fashioned, but I believe that you should look nice when you fly, not like you (a) just rolled out of bed or (b) just came from the gym. Apparently, some people feel so strongly about the lack of appropriate attire on board and in the terminals they’ve put together some rules for us.


The man who designed the Pringles can – c’mon, you know that cylinder of chips all too well! – has been buried in his creation.

Filed under: Erica Hill
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Raymond Duke Texas

    I agree with you that you should do your best to look nice when in public and traveling At least wear a good set of jeans, shoes and shirt. Not to sound sexist because I think a lot of women are treated like second class citizens by corporations in this country in pay and job promotions. Just look how the media treated hillary clinton in this race for the president. cnn was one of the worse with msnbc leading the pac. But I swear some women want to look like hooker's and then they wonder why they have so much trouble with the other flying public, including other women.

    June 2, 2008 at 11:44 pm |
  2. Annie Kate


    I can't believe the Pringles man had some of his ashes burined in a Pringles can. Can you imagine the reaction of an archaeologist who might dig it up 100 years from now? I wonder what kind of interpretation they will come to about our time and society.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    June 2, 2008 at 9:54 pm |
  3. Genevieve M, TX

    I just hope that whoever sits next to me has recently showered and little to no perfume/cologne.

    If I travel with a baby/young child, I like to bring an extra set of clothes for me and the child. Not a parent, but have "been there, done that" with young cousins!

    June 2, 2008 at 9:20 pm |
  4. Minou, New York City

    Thanks for making me giggle with that "what not to wear" story!
    I always roll my eyes at the ladies who are dressed like they're about to walk into the hottest club in town. But I also break out in hives when I see flip-flops, muscle-shirts and, gulp, the all too popular gym-sneaker- denim jeans – combo!
    I'm always freezing on planes, so I have to wear socks, shoes, long pants and some kind of jacket.

    June 2, 2008 at 9:14 pm |
  5. David

    Erica (or whoever mods this),

    This is kind of off topic, and I'm sorry about that in advance; but is Lou Dobbs not the biggest moron on the airwaves today? Am I right about this?

    He's an embarrassment to your network, and as a journalist he makes a good corn holder.

    Seriously, how many reporters who have to work with him actually respect him? Can you ask around for me? You don't have to email me the results of your informal poll (though I would appreciate it), but it would be good to have that information on hand for when his contract comes up for renewal or for when the FCC actually grows a pair.

    Is there anyway you can reassign him to your Mexico office or some ish?

    I'll build the damn wall myself in that eventuality.

    Good night and good muck,


    June 2, 2008 at 8:45 pm |
  6. Stacey B


    Firstly, you are FABULOUS! You know I'm you're greatest fan. When traveling you should be fashionably comfortable. It is difficult enough to travel....worrying about being a fashion diva should not be the primary concern.

    As it relates to cancer....I agree. My Dad was recently diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease stage 3B. Thankfully, he has access to resources that will assist him in fighting this horrible disease. It's time we put this nations resources to research, development and education on the many forms of this horrible disease we call cancer.

    June 2, 2008 at 8:44 pm |
  7. Bren from Atlanta

    Another crazy Monday...Crazy Cancer...I finished growing up on the Susquehanna River next to 3 Mile Island. I was swimming in the river when the "Accident" happened. The surrounding communities mostly used wells and the nuclear plant continued to release the contaminated water into the river for decades. I had multiple miscarriages and two still births. After moving to Atlanta in '91 my eldest girl had a tumor in her jawbone. I had a tumor removed from my mitral valve and one from my shoulder blade. My dog from PA died from a rare form of cancer. Now I have been diagnosed with simmering myeloma, the precursor to multiple myeloma,–cancer of the plasma cells. Its like living with Al Quaeda in your body...
    Its not just children, though the warrior feels like a child and I so enjoy joining with the Blog community every night.

    I too love Pringles and God bless the dude!

    As long as you are covered, who cares what you wear on a plane. Don't be obscene, be professional or be comfortable. What floats your boat. Talking about cancer, is this really that important?

    June 2, 2008 at 8:13 pm |
  8. Megan Dresslar

    Hi Erica!
    I agree with you too........ I know lots of children have cancer, I am really praying for children to keep fight beat disease! My hope to find cure for them....... Oh yes! Mr Pringles is my favorite snack food! I love some different kind of chips! I will see you tonight on program and blog live 360....... See you soon!
    Megan D.
    Shoreline, Wa

    June 2, 2008 at 7:30 pm |
  9. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    An extinction of cancer for everyone would be wonderful. I've lost too many people that really mattered to me already thanks to this disease.

    I do agree that people should dress appropriately on airplanes but not for reasons you might think. I wore pj bottoms with a t-shirt and sweatshirt on top coming back from Rome, Italy, after Pope John Paul II's wake. I was sick, I was medicated, and I slept the whole flight. Sadly, I was also on the ten o'clock news when we reached the New Orleans airport. The CBS affiliate was following the kids I was helping chaperone (they were supposed to sing for the pope before he died, and then we ended up at the wake and part of a US interest story of sorts). For some foresaken reason our arrival back home was newsworthy. Needless to say, I dress appropriately now no matter what. You never know when a local news crew will show up apparently. Or when you'll have to live down being seen on TV in your pj's at an airport.

    Being buried in a Pringles can, how fun! Sort of makes me rethink that whole stodgy proper burial urn plan of mine.

    June 2, 2008 at 7:05 pm |
  10. Suzy

    I always make sure to wear easy on-off shoes as well, since it's pretty much a given that I'll have to take them off to get through security. I've also never understood why so many women wear high heels to fly. I've had to run for a flight before, and there's no way I'd be able to do that in heels!

    June 2, 2008 at 6:37 pm |
  11. Sabrina in Los Angeles

    Thank God I live in the South West....we deal with smog hear and too much sun shine...lol.

    I have seen that movie and it is really sad and infuriating.

    Clean water and air and good food and sunlight are best for us...just like plants.

    On the airport thing....I don't like to leave the house if I am not put together. Society is falling apart and being presentable is falling by the way side much like all of societies rules/norms.

    I can't wear casual clothing without feeling like a bum. I have to be dressed up a bit but there are pieces of clothing that are good for traveling....easy to move in, no wrinkles.

    My rule for keeping myself pulled together : I look at people and ask myself -Do I do what this person is doing? If it is bad, I change it.....it is is good, I keep doing it or adopt it.

    Putting people in the spotlight makes them fall apart faster if they are not meant to have that light....look at the reverends.

    June 2, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  12. Janna

    "Other research has shown that children's death rates from cancer are also lowest in the Northeast." This statement from the same article, along with what you pointed out re; more reporting/care sort of negates the headline, doesn't it? I'm growing weary of non-stories scaring the bejeezes out of us for no good reason.
    As for the airline passenger dress suggestions, I think it's another misplacement of energy. With all of the recent problems in the airline industry, do we really care what anyone is wearing? I'm more concerned with inspection issues and other safety concerns.

    June 2, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  13. Marcia

    Erica I've read a Civil Action and saw the movie this past weekend and it did make me mad. Cancer is a disease I don't think we'll ever eradicate, but being able to keep tabs on what may cause it ie pollutants may lead to preventing it more.

    When I fly I usually find that people dress to be comfortable and make it easier for them to get through the security. Even my travel agent says to wear something that is easy to manage in case you are stopped for some reason. My best friend in travel is my pair of Mary Jane Crocs that look great, are comfortable and make the security people happy that I don't hold up the line when I take them off. As for high heels leave them for your destination.

    June 2, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  14. JohnB

    Gym clothes are actually some of the best things to wear when flying, from purely a comfort and convenience standpoint - and providing they are clean and untattered.

    However, you never know who you will meet on a plane or in an airport. I travel a lot and occasionally make business contacts in airports or on flights, so from a professional standpoint, I go for business casual when flying.

    If it is going to be a long flight (I do travel overseas), then I may throw a change of 'gym clothes' in my carry-on to slip into once we are in the air.

    I also like to carry an extra shirt on longer trips because even starting out freshly groomed, the hours spent in airports and in the air can take their toll in the form of odors.

    June 2, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  15. Debbie, Denham Springs, LA

    I'm sure you look fabulous no matter how you're dressed and if they discriminated against "beautiful young women" as the article stated, you wouldn't have made it on any plane since you surely fit that description. No, there's a HUGE difference between being beautiful and just being plain SKANKY. I didn't see photos of the outfit in question on the Southwest flight, but chances are, it was just plain SKANKY. I don't usually pay that much attention to what people are wearing unless it's truly unusual, or again... just plain SKANKY. Women who dress like that probably have issues anyway, so I just don't care. As far as tight clothing, if you're dense enough to wear it, then you should suffer the consequences. I did enjoy the reference in the article that compared nylon underwear to a steaming tamale. That's clever. I will stick to my comfortable pants, tennis shoes and light jacket...and the cotton underwear.

    June 2, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  16. Bill in Nebraska


    Yup, it's a Monday all right... Leave it to you to find some story that makes me laugh. Then of course you have to put your spin on it, which helps. 😉

    I would agree with you on flying. It has to be comfortable and something I live with for at least a week. You never know when you will lose your luggage or get put in a little room for a bunch of days...

    I have probably put about 10,000 or more hours in on commercial planes. I have seen it all, from a baby running up and down the isle naked to a man waring a Tux. Even saw a wedding gown once. But with the way travel is these days you have to have slip on shoes and you have to be ready for anything. You could get stuck on the tarmac for hours and then the plane just turns into an oven.

    I am sure though, that no one has made fun of or bad comments about how you dress when you fly. If they have then just laugh about it. Hell you are a newish mom after all and they can't expect you to ware a silk blouse and wool skirt with heels and all that good stuff. All it would take is one small thing and then BOOM, Baby throws up on your shoulder and there goes a $300 blouse... I say just wear jeans a a t-shirt since you are a new mom and babies are so unpredictable.

    Thanks Erica for making me smile today.

    June 2, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  17. Lilibeth

    It’s always sad to hear that someone has cancer, especially children. To hear that someone so young has a terminal disease…so sad because they haven’t fully lived yet.

    When I go to the airport, I dress down but I still try to look respectable, mainly because I never know who I’ll run into…could be a co-worker, neighbor, friend, boss…I mean, if they saw me in my p.j.’s at the airport, I’ll never hear the end of it. LOL!

    Pringles...probably one of my favorite snacks of all time. I hope the man rests in peace.

    Take care,
    Edmonds, Washington

    June 2, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  18. Alexander

    Erica, I am with you totally regarding cancer being extinct. If only it was. It is such a terrible and commonn disease. I wonder about what you mentioned in your post regarding better care and more reporting of the incidents of cancer among people in the northeast of the U.S. I am well aware of how easily statistics can mis-respresent the truth due to such variances such as how many people are honest or other little factors that influence the over statistics report. That may very well be the case- ie, a sampling 'error,' if you will, even if not a literal error, per se. In any case, I am sure your little man will be just fine.: ) And, I do also agree with what you stated regarding attire while traveling. However, fortunately, I don't recall many incidents where I've been apalled by what other people at aiports have worn. Maybe I was just too busy shuffling through my paperwork and passes to notice.; )

    June 2, 2008 at 5:19 pm |