One of the topics in the textbooks this week was clothes and fashion, including hair. What’s left of my hair might fairly be described as ‘greying’ (rather than ‘grey’). I said ‘My wife wants me to dye my hair. Do you think I should?’. One student said ‘Yes, I think you should dye’ — which, of course, sounds exactly like ‘I think you should die’.
die/dye is used in at least one limerick which I could vaguely remember but couldn’t find on the internet. Fortunately, one of the limerick books I have is organised alphabetically by the last word of the first line, so I easily found it there. It runs:
Said a fair-headed maiden of Klondike,
‘Of you I’m exceedingly fond, Ike.
To prove I adore you,
I’ll dye, darling, for you,
And be a brunette, not a blonde, Ike.’
I vaguely remembered the third and fourth lines as ‘To prove that I’m true/I’d dye, dear, for you’. This limerick is probably more effective when spoken rather than when read.
There is another joke which relies on dye it/diet, which I similarly can’t find. It’s something like:
Girlfriend/wife: I don’t like my hair colour/My hair is going grey. Do you think I should dye it?
Boyfriend/husband: [something unkind about her weight]
PS It might have been the other way round:
Her: My bum is too big. I’m going to diet.
Him: What colour?