A chance remark by Emily Bishop set this story rolling. Trying to sleep in the front bedroom of No 3, Coronation Street, she was sometimes disturbed by next door neighbour Don Brennan, arriving home in his taxi in the early hours of the morning. The sound of the car engine and the slamming of the car door often drew her from her slumbers.
It was never a good idea to say anything much at all about anything to Percy Sugden, Emily's new lodger at No 3. Especially when it came to problems. But when Emily let slip her night time difficulties in passing, he immediately set out to remedy the situation.
Percy had often noticed that Don's parked taxi overlapped from the space outside his own house into Emily's parking space, and so he immediately painted "NO PARKING" on the pavement, with two lines to mark out No 3's parking space.
On hearing of the problem he was causing, Don was sympathetic, and promised Emily he'd be quieter.
He and Ivy were, however, both annoyed and amused to see Percy's pavement etching, and Don said he'd get his own back...
The next morning, Emily emerged from No 3 to find a gaggle of factory girls outside, all laughing at the pavement! Percy's "NO PARKING" had been crudely altered to "NOSY PARKER". Emily was furious. She hadn't even been aware that Percy had daubed the pavement in the first place. She called him outside. "We've been vandalised!" squawked Percy.
Emily insisted that Percy removed the offensive lettering from her pavement immediately. Percy was, as always, sympathetic - and, in fact, quite outraged on Emily's behalf: "I can understand you being upset. There's no truth in this at all. You're no nosy parker, not in my book - and if anybody ever said you were..."
Emily could hardly believe her ears: "This is not aimed at me, Mr Sugden - it's aimed at you!"
Percy was deeply saddened. This wasn't the first time he'd encountered the bizarre female tendency to delude themselves when it came to any unpleasantness, but still, he'd thought better of Mrs Bishop.
However, he remained gallant: "I wouldn't think so, no, but if that's the way you want to think about it, Mrs Bishop, so be it."
Emily told Percy that she was going to work, that she wanted to see the pavement clean when she returned, and that she wanted no reprisals carried out against Don Brennan or anybody else Percy suspected of committing the deed. She would brook no argument!
As it happened, Don wasn't involved in the pavement daubing exercise. And if Percy had glanced down the street as Mrs Bishop stalked off across the road to Baldwin's factory, he might have gained more than a small clue as to who the miscreant actually was.
As Jack Duckworth later confessed to Gloria Todd, it was him.
He'd nipped out in his "jim jams" early that morning.
It had been too good to resist.
Percy never did catch the culprit.
And he was greatly disappointed to discover the attitude taken by Mavis Riley, apparently Mrs Bishop's best friend, who seemed completely unruffled and deluded regarding this outrageous slur against her.
Like Emily, Mavis told Percy that she believed the "NOSY PARKER" slogan referred to him!
You wouldn't credit it, would you?