"Are you vicars in town for a holy convention of some sort?" I said thinking should two gentlemen of the cloth be coming on a Haunted Underworld tour given its devilish destination under the city?
"We're not vicars we're Roman Catholic priests," said one of them with a smile.
"Oh ok," I said, deciding this didn't need an apology. After all you can't actually see a vow of celibacy.
Not that I need have worried. It turned out they were part of a stag party with a Father Ted theme. This was a relief, the chosen theme meant they'd decided to forego the obligatory inflated doll or fake breasts.
Nearby an older lady was making notes as I introduced the tour.
"It's pitch dark down there. You're more than welcome to write down what I say but it might be difficult to make sense of the words afterwards," I said.
"Perhaps her pen is illuminous," suggested a guest as Spiderman wandered past.
It was a strange day in the city, not least because it was the Comic Con event at Manchester Central which attracts a multitude of people dressed up as Comic book action heroes.
Spiderman was being accompanied by an arachnid with a sword. I'm not sure which story that appears in but the costume was very good.
I posted a tweet picture of the Haunted Underworld tour later and @SteMangini replied, 'I wouldn't like a right hook off her in the front. She looks well pissed off and very handy.'
He was talking about the lady in the picture at the top of this page with the blue shirt over the red t-shirt.
@ForzaFerrariK8 (for it is she) tweeted back, 'I am very handy. I wasn't pissed off, just being in character as a professional demon hunter and ghost killer.'
I've never taken a professional demon hunter around before. Very pleasing.
Earlier in the week there was a women from Kazakhstan and that was good too because she represented the 99th nationality I've taken around Manchester since I started guiding in 1996.
Who will be my 100th?
Where are all the Madagascans when you need them?
Immediately after the Haunted Underworld it was straight on to one of my favourites, the Incredible Interiors tour. I'd made a recruit from the first tour too, a brainy Russian lady who lives in Audenshaw with her British husband.
A group of over twenty people joined me.
We went to the Royal Exchange, the Portico Library, Room Restaurant, Rates Hall in the Town Hall Extension, Central Library and finished in Albert Hall. Along for the ride came my brother Charles and my first cousin once removed (I had to look that up, she's my grandfather's brother's daughter), Georgina.
At some point in the tour, I think in Central Library, I'd pointed out one of the guests, Beth Knowles, as an elected city centre councillor. I think I was being complimentary about the council's work in Central Library but condemning the council for the mess of the Library Walk 'intrusion' - background here.
On the tour were another of our Eastern friends, this time a Russian couple who lives in the city centre.
"Should I call you Lady, it's very grand being a councillor, no?" asked one of them, Daniel, to Beth Knowles. I'm sure he was being tongue in cheek. Then he complained about the litter provision in the city centre. It's a councillor's lot.
The couple were from Tolyatti in Russia which is a version of the Italian name Togliatti and is a hangover from the Soviet Union. Palmiro Togliatti was the longest serving leader of the Italian Communist Party.
We were a polite group and nobody mentioned current day controversies involving Vladimir Putin and Russia. Maybe after a couple of more beers we might have. I regret that. It would have been interesting to hear the opinions of Russians settled here.
Special thanks to Emma Marigliano, the Head Librarian of the Portico and Joel Wilkinson of the Trof group. The latter operates Albert Hall along with standout Manchester venues such as The Deaf Institute (a gig venue and bar), Gorilla and the Trof bars.
Both these lovely people were very gracious in opening up their respective venues for the group during their own time. They were also excellent in catching guests' jaws as they dropped, both the Portico and Albert Hall are spectacular in their own ways.
Room Restaurant, another private space, should be mentioned for letting me interrupt their guests and diners by talking in a loud voice as I explained the importance of the old Reform Club it occupies.
One of the best lines came from the self-deprecating Emma Marigliano who began with, "Welcome to the Portico which has been here since 1806 just like me."
As I left to go home three Power Rangers, a fairy and some sort of Witch-queen with a toy semi-automatic gun sauntered by.
It all felt somehow very right.