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My friend Elon and I constantly irritate each other. He recently built himself a rather respectable restaurant – a sort of bed-&-breakfast, minus the beds. Last week, he asked if I could come down so that we could try and bury the hatchet, order up some grub, and talk out our frustrations. However, things... didn't exactly go out like he planned.

Y'see, Elon hires no workers at his diner because he's dreadfully paranoid; instead, all his chefs and waiting staff are robots! He told me they are the highest-quality machines money can buy, but it was damn-near impossible to get a simple order!

For example, I figured I haven't had a good plate of fried green tomatoes in ages, so I asked the 'clever' waiter if he could recommend the tomato. His response? "We don't know how to process a tomato."

"But your menu— i–it says I could order the tomatoes?" I pointed emphatically at the picture.

"Oh, tomatoes! Why, certainly, we can get you some tomatoes! Anything else?"

I figured it must be something with the speech recognition, so I decided to ignore the quirk at first. I asked then if I could have some eggs on the side. "Sorry, sir, we don't know how to serve eggs."

I blinked wildly and started to shout. "Wha— what do you mean you don't know how to serve eggs?" My friend was trying to shush me down before I made a bigger scene.

"Sir, we could prepare you an egg, if you want..." The robot seemed quite flustered, and equally so was I. It took me a while to respond.

"Sure, I'd like an egg. Could I have a hard-boiled egg, then?" I was gritting my teeth at this point.

"Certainly, and would you like to try some scrambled eggs as well?" I began to mutter a sly remark under my breath: somebody's certainly scrambled...

"What was that, sir? You'll have to speak up." The robot must've not caught wind, though the sudden response did make me start. "Sure," I said, though I clearly wasn't amused.

The waiter responded after writing the request down: "Would you also like a side of ham or bacon?" I was starting to feel better at this point: maybe it was just a bug after all! "Yes, both, thank you, and some potatoes," I told the android.

"Sorry, we don't have potatoes." The robot quickly frowned.

I was again puzzled. "Not a single one?"

"Nope, sorry, sir, we don't have potato on the menu." I just shook my head as Elon quickly jumped in and began his order (I really didn't listen at this point, since it's not my place to judge and I was pretty vexed at this point). Once Elon stopped, we thanked the robot as he finished up, took our menus, and scurried away to ring up our orders.

After a few minutes and some light-hearted banter to pass the time (really, I needed the break from this lunacy), our waiter finally came back with silver tins. I eagerly awaited as the chef and waiter gathered around (apparently I drew an audience, though probably not for good reasons) and the waiter revealed our meals. That's when things really got weird.

Instead of food, I got this:

{0,0,-5,-5,-15,-7,-1,-19}
{0,-2,0,0}
{0,-1,3,-8,-4,9,-5,-5,-4,-7,-2,4,-2,0}
{0,7,-7,-9,-8,6,-7,-11,-5,1,-5,-10,7,0}
{0,-1,12,-2,11,0}
{0,7,12,0}

I immediately made a grimace at this mess of numbers, but Elon reassured me that everything was fine: his machines just make food by using tuples! He said they were quite good, but I was not convinced. Still, with six eyes – well, really two eyes and two overbearing monitors – staring right through me, I had very few options.

I was obviously perplexed, so I started by plucking off some of the zeros and putting them aside as I grabbed the first tuple (believe me, it's not that easy to grab a tuple), but the cook just stared at me with burning spheres before I could bite down. I confronted the robot almost as sharp. "What? What is it now?"

"You don't like my cooking?" The robot's face was scowled most unpleasantly.

"I'm just trimming the extra stuff off...," as I plucked yet another empty digit from the next tuple.

"'Extra stuff'!" The robot's voice boomed in the narrow dining hall. "Absurd! Everything there is meaty and just as important as the rest! You, sir, have poor taste!"

I was seething at this point and jumped to my feet, practically screaming the words: "THAT'S IT! I'VE HAD IT!" I brushed Elon off and stormed out, leaving the tuples to go cold and hard on my plate.


Elon was not happy with my antics, so he showed me the order the waiter wrote up, and despite one glaring error I was surprised that everything I ordered was there! How could that have been?

Obviously, your challenge is to figure out what exactly happened that day and try to understand what went wrong, if anything. Perhaps a good start would be to explain what those darned tuples are?


HINTS:

I passed by Elon's restaurant just the other day and peeked in to see another patron ordering up some grub. I waited until after he finished his meal to ask what he thought of the place; he, of course, had no complaints. Being naturally curious, I asked what he ordered; to my surprise, he ordered a chair... yes, you heard me right.

Of course I was completely dumbfounded, but the guy didn't seem fazed. "Sure, I thought it was strange at first, but you wouldn't believe how good it tasted!" It seems food isn't the only thing Elon's robots can prepare, but why only certain types of food or certain kinds of items? There has to be a connection!

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