I'm having trouble with the last sentence:

"My very first day wearing clipless pedals on a road bike I got run up on by a couple of big dogs. My instinct was to stop, as it disarms their chase instinct. Of course I fell over. The dogs looked at each other and trotted off. I guess they figured they couldn't do anything to me that I wasn't capable of doing to myself..."

Does it even make any sense?

  • 2
    You fell off your bike. The dogs didn't bother attacking you because they realised that you can hurt yourself without any help from them. Jun 30, 2022 at 8:03
  • 1
    It means that the dogs couldn't hurt him more than he could hurt himself. Jul 1, 2022 at 2:40

1 Answer 1


The sentence is meant to be humorous. The writer suggests that the dogs walked away because they saw no point in attacking someone who was already hurting themselves or was likely to hurt themselves in the future. They either took pity on the person who had fallen over stuck to a bike or thought it was not worth the effort to chase such a seemingly incompetent prey.

  • 1
    Shouldn't the sentence then be: "I guess they figured they couldn't do anything to me that I WAS capable of doing to myself"?
    – AzulShiva
    Jun 30, 2022 at 8:19
  • 3
    As an example, suppose the dogs could do [X, Y, Z] and the fallen person could do [X, Y, Z, W, ...]. There is nothing in the dog set that isn't in the fallen person's set. The dogs can't do anything unique. They can't do anything that the person can't do.
    – dubious
    Jun 30, 2022 at 8:23
  • @dubious I know it's forbidden to say, but I like the logical approach of your answer
    – Zan700
    Jul 1, 2022 at 3:17

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