In the court of the Borgias during the Renaissance, intrigue and murder were daily facts of courtly life — especially when it was Lucrezia’s turn to cook the lasagna.
But employing a food taster, however necessary, was considered an insult to the host. So clever courtiers concealed a “dinner hamster” in their ermine robes.
Thus equipped, a survival-oriented dinner guest would distract the host with a witty anecdote about the peasantry while lowering small amounts of food for testing.
Verily, yon hammie doth appear most comfortabuhls, Eric M.