h3("this should be running but isn't");
Notice the lack of a print anywhere in that block.....
Also it was in the wrong place. Hours beating on this sillyness.
Yes I had quotes on the REGEXP, in my original version. I kept having to modify it to put it here because it looks nothing like this in the code (and the last version where I hard coded it I forgot to, but it wouldn't have worked anyway because of the problems above.)
Live and learn I guess. Sorry to waste everyone's time.