What Does Mandatory Mean?
We were in Sea Isle City when the "mandatory evacuation" for Cape May County was signed by the Governor, but apparently mandatory means different things to different men-- despite the mandatory order to evacuate, we hung out on the beach Friday with a number of other stalwart vacationers, as the weather was beautiful (the weatherman said, "DO NOT BE FOOLED!") and the water wasn't particularly rough . . . I went for a swim and then Alex and I were skim-boarding when a lifeguard in a sand vehicle informed us that there was a mandatory evacuation and the beach was closed . . . but when I asked him if we had to leave the beach, he told us we were free to stay, and then another lifeguard talked to us while we were skim-boarding, and after advising us that there was a mandatory evacuation, he said that surfers were allowed to surf but people weren't allowed to swim (and, of course, I had already deflated my paddle-board) and then the next lifeguard we saw told us we couldn't skim-board and advised us that there was a mandatory evacuation and suggested, because of traffic, that we "stay the day and enjoy the beach," and then he told us we could go into the water ankle deep but that he was "going for a swim because he could," and he hated to bother us except that his boss was right over there, and for the rest of the day we watched the lifeguards cruise up and down the beach, busting people and not busting them for various infractions (Alex skim-boarded a few more times, but then got busted again) and, finally, we packed and "evacuated," which actually felt more like driving home in some traffic than an actual evacuation and I think next time they either need to get some people with bullhorns-- because that's what I imagine when I hear the word "mandatory"-- or else say we "strongly suggest" that you leave town.