Beating ISIS on the Golf Course

06/08/2015 11:13 am ET | Updated Jun 08, 2016

This is a true story in every detail. I had a very strange dream the other night. But then, I often do. And they sometimes involve me in a Jack Bauer type counter-terrorism role. The mild mannered philosopher often has to save the day.

This particular dream was a doozy. Hundreds of ISIS fighters had made their way from the middle east to my neighborhood on the Intracoastal Waterway in Wilmington, NC. I think they had come on the water, which was of course a strange enough experience for them, from the outset. They're not guys known for their sailing abilities. I'm sure a few lost their lunch along the way. Then they invaded our gated community, entering from the water, which was actually a clever idea. It would have done them no good to come to the main gate, They wouldn't have bar codes on their rental cars, and no conceivable pretense would have worked. Who's going to believe a 53 car caravan with "Death To America Pizza Delivery" signs on the sides?

It's a good thing we have a lot of security people who could redirect traffic away from where the incursion was taking place. It would have been a shame to see a bunch of Range Rovers and Audis full of bullet holes. Thanks to the Second Amendment, about whose contemporary interpretation I admit to having had serious doubts, at least outside this dream, an amazing arsenal of weapons suddenly appeared among my otherwise civilized, though admittedly duck hunting, neighbors, who instantly changed out of their Tommy Bahama and Vineyard Vines duds into more appropriate camo-patterned garb, and got into action to repel the malicious force.

Fortunately, a lot of my neighbors are former CEOs and corporate executives of other ranks, so they could quickly organize a counter-offensive. They're take-charge people. I was shocked by the alacrity of their response. The mostly Sunni militants barely made it a block into the hood, to the closest golf course fairway, before being stopped in their tracks.

I was most surprised of all by the role terrain played in our ability to quickly turn back the attack and prevail. These guys from Iraq and Syria had never been in heavily wooded areas, or on a golf course. They were sitting ducks on the areas laid out by Pete Dye and Jack Nicholas in the neighborhood. It was ironically often their undoing to stop for a moment of recognition and appreciation at the sand traps. The constantly changing contours of what's hidden and revealed by the undulations of the courses caught them totally off guard. And they'd never faced adversaries in or around heavily forested land where there are so many places of concealment. Several ponds and lakes also gave them distinct troubles.

It was all over as quickly as it started. And I hope that's a lesson for them and their type. Don't mess with golfers. Or duck hunters. Or, yeah, CEOs and philosophers.

And for the rest of us, there's also a lesson. When you have to fight a battle, or repel an adversary, you're typically much better off if you can do so on your own familiar turf, where you're the most comfortable and know the lay of the land.

Oh, and one more lesson easily arises from this particular dream: Don't have a rich snack right before bed. And if you just can't resist that blue cheese on crackers with unsalted almonds and a glass of cabernet, you might then consider slipping on a flak jacket rather than the bunny pajamas.