What is the point of those little tags that come in packs of tube socks and most other mass produced clothing items that say “Inspected by Number 12” or some such? Are they supposed to reassure me, the consumer? “Thank God these tube socks were forged under the steady eye of Number 12, and not that roustabout 11.” Are they ever used for tracking purposes? Will they ask me for the Inspector’s Number if I call the tube sock consumer help hotline to complain that the elastic is too loose? And what exactly does “Number 12” denote: an individual, an inspection team, a machine, or what?