In the movie Dead Poets Society, there is a line by Robin Williams:"We are not laying pipe, we are talking about poetry." I have checked it up on Urban Dictionary and according to the top scoring post the phrase means "fucking the hell out of a girl". Obviously, this doesn't suit the context here. So what does the phrase really mean?
closed as off-topic by Edwin Ashworth, user66974, David, Davo, RaceYouAnytime Aug 21 '17 at 21:26
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It is the literal meaning. The teacher compares the 'geometrical' analysis of Pritchard, which he has called excrement, to something as equally mundane or technical or unexciting as laying pipe(lines). There's no room for the slang meaning here.
This is what Keating said:
"Excrement. That's what I think of Mr. J. Evans Pritchard. We're not laying pipe. We're talking about poetry."
It refers neither to an easy job nor a sexual act. He used "laying pipe" as the rhetorical device to mean what he said about Prithcard's work and how garbage (excremental) it was. One needs to stick out one's male organ to discharge (excrete) waste and that's what was meant by "laying pipe".
And "laying pipe" here is far from being described as an easy job. The graph drawn by Keating was as complex as one can imagine. He put the whole first paragraph of Pritchard's book into a diagram and meant that it was garbage. Then he told his students to rip the page and toss it into a garbage can.