DEAR HELOISE: My husband and I are traveling to France this year, but we’ve never been to Europe before. We’d like to do a little research before we get there, and we’d like to know who to turn to if we encounter a serious problem. Any hints for us?

— Raymond and Kelly, Inglewood, Calif.

Hints from Heloise sig

Do some research on your computer at If you should happen to run into serious problems, you can always call the U.S. Embassy in France at +(33)(1)43-12-22-22 or email the embassy at

— Heloise

Pastry cutter

DEAR HELOISE: Today I needed to mash three hard-boiled eggs for an egg salad. Previously, I had used a fork as my mother did. I decided a pastry cutter would do the job more quickly, and it did!

— Kathleen W., Montgomery, Ala.

Great hint! Readers, if you have any leftover deviled eggs from a party, mash them to make a delicious egg salad sandwich.

— Heloise

Another scam alert

DEAR HELOISE: There is a fairly new scam going around. The FBI is warning people of internet blackmail. Here’s how it works: A scammer sends you an email saying he has hacked into your computer and knows you’ve been watching porn or that there is a video from your webcam showing you as you watch porn. The scammer says he will expose your secret on various websites and/or to all your email contacts unless you send a certain amount of money in bitcoins.

First, DO NOT send money of any kind. DO NOT click on any link the scammer has given you. This is a scammer who did not record you doing anything. In many, many cases, the person contacted has never been to a porn site. The scammer did not install malware on your computer and no doubt got your name, web address or password from one of the many data breaches that have occurred in recent years. Delete the entire email.

— Pete, via email


Sent hints to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5001 or email