A messenger boy was told to relay the following message to HQ by his commanding officer. The message was simple enough.
"Send reinforcements, we are going to advance"
The boy set off into the darkness, eager to do his duty, running almost as fast as the wind. He fell several times along the way, bruising and cutting himself, and finally arrived looking a little the worse for wear. He was offered time to clean up, but he insisted that the message be relayed immediately.
Still somewhat breathless, he was taken to the General. He stood to attention, saluted, and then blurted out the message.
"Send three and fourpence, we are going to a dance"