So I fixed it. I was setting up the pipe in Cpanel, because it's easier. I put the pipe under "account level filtering", worked great for anything but outlook. I would have loved to have the script print data for debug, but it was never even executing when the email came from outlook. Looked in mail logs...nothing obvious. My admin on a whim suggested that I move the pipe to the "forwarders" section in cpanel. Well now it works perfect. Must be a bug in cpanel. Why is it the more you learn about computers the less sense they make.
Just a couple other tweaks I had to implement:
A) when writing/editing the script in a windows environment, hidden characters are added. To fix this, I upload the php file, and open it in the cpanel filemanager (us-ascii), and save it. This removes the characters. (could obviously open in *nix also) B) I had to chmod to 755, or it would not run. Scripts sitting outside my \www so no worries. C) My shebang had to be: #!/usr/bin/php -q. The q was necessary to get it running.
Hope this helps someone else.