The delightful Ladyboys of Bangkok are a public relations dream at Edinburgh Fringe time.
Not only are they an instantly recognisable, household name, they are glamorous and freakish in equal measure, which makes them excellent media fodder.
They’re also ready to take part in any vaguely interesting photo opportunity at the drop of a hat.
So, it’s easy to understand then, why one Scottish public relations agency after another queues up in the hope of getting some extra va-va-voom for their press releases.
Today it was the turn of a Glasgow outfit called Liquorice Media, who arranged a photo call with the Ladyboys.
Glamorous touch for PR in Scotland
The schtick was to have the sequinned, plucked and tucked showgirls turn out for a splatterfest at the Bedlam paintball venue – which is run by Edinburgh man-about-town stalwart, Roman Rock.
Eight of the *cough* ladies obliged by turning up in a muddy field wearing next to nothing while firing paintball guns for the assembled press pack. Not even remotely weird, then.
Among the journalists in attendance was Deadline Press & Picture Agency new recruit, Rory Reynolds, keen as mustard with his notepad at the ready.
Rory is already a seasoned campaigner and karate black belt to boot, so was ready for just about anything.
Except what happened next.
Just when he wasn’t looking some sneaky Ladyboy sidled up and fired her paintball gun point blank into his gonads.
Now, it’s almost impossible to tell which Ladyboys have undergone full gender reassignment, and which of them are only playing at it by getting boob implants then artfully tucking away their, er, undercarriages, to make their manhoods all but invisible.
My guess is that this particular Ladyboy has had the works removed – and maybe, just maybe, has lived to regret it. In which case, I can understand why they’d want to share their pain with some smiling farang journalist.
And poor old Rory most certainly shared that pain.
Even though the gun wasn’t loaded with balls (a bit like the Ladyboys themselves) it still fires out a blast of compressed air at a fair lick. All of which meant young Mr Reynolds felt like he’d taken a kick from a mule.
After writhing around for a few minutes while the rest of the press pack pointed and laughed, Rory’s only consolation is that he now has a story with which he can regale his grandkids – assuming his loins are still fruitful after his encounter.
For him the Ladyboys experience can be summed up thus:
Plenty Bang. Sair Kok.