Two Alien quotes-- what do they mean?

In the pipe, 5 by 5, said by the pilot just before she was Alienized and when the sergeant told Hudson to “Look into my eye”. What do those two things mean?

P.S., I figured out “Assholes and elbows” all by myself! I’m so proud of me.

Going from memory, I believe the phrase “five by five” is communications shorthand, meaning that the dropship radio is currently sending/recieving radio signals pretty much perfectly. The signal strength is strong, and the clarity is perfect.

Dont know about “Look into my eye”, but I always thought it was just generic sergeant “dont fuck with me maggots” type lingo.

“Five by five” is actually radio terminology, referring to signal strength of good strength and clarity—the pilot, Ferro, is probably using the term figuratively. “In the pipe” probably refers to the dropship’s being on course for the reentry corridor.

Incidentally, the pilot says the “five by five” line during the initial drop. This is well before she is personally attacked.

I don’t know how significant it is, but when Apone says “look into my eye”, he’s using his middle finger to pull down his lower eyelid. Of course, he also has a cigar in his hand so, really… who the fuck knows? Maybe he was using the 24th-(or whatever)-century equivalent of “Don’t go there.”

Highly significant. I always assumed that he was saying, in effect, “Look at my finger orientation” because the trooper has just made an irrational request (“Gee sarge, would you do that for me?”) and he was saying “Fuck you” without saying it. Pretty clearly, in fact. Lotsa plausible deniability.

As for that “5 X %”, it seems to me to go beyond radio contact – they’re all in the dropship, after all. It seems to be used as a phrase meaning “Everything is going perfectly”, rather than “radio communications are OK”. It’s arguably an extension of that latter meaning.

Gotta admit, though, I never understood “assholes and elbows”. Can you explain it to me?

If you’ll recall, the graphic navigation system that the pilot is monitoring shows a series of rectangles through which the ship is flying that indicates the proper descent track. This is the ‘pipe’ and she is in it.

If someone is working hard, then they are all ‘assholes and elbows’, in that they aren’t standing up, looking around, milling about. All you can see of them is their ‘assholes and elbows’. Apone was imploring his squad to get to work.

“Look into my eye” is not the important part. The middle finger is. If I were looking at you and scratching my nose with my middle finger, would you get my message to you?

Sorry – when I look at a busy, moving person I rarely see assholes. I think you’re missing something

I heard this a lot when I was working construction. If you’re bending down and doing your job (like tying off iron), all the supervisor should see of you is asses and elbows.

Well, you can’t actually see the assholes-- unless you work in a step joint-- but when you are unloading and moving stuff you spend a lot of time picking thongs up and putting them down. At such times it is your ass and your elbows that are on view.

What does being in the pipe have to do with the all clear?

The ‘5x5’ means that she has good comm and telemetry from the Sulaco; ‘in the pipe’, as Ranchoth mentions above, means that they are on course and speed for proper reentry and, therefore, everything is as good as can be for their safe approach and landing in the LZ.

5x5’s been pretty well covered.

I have seen the using-the-middle-finger-to-point-to-the-eye thing as a sort of less-obvious way to flip someone the bird. Though when I see it in other places (such as in the highly lauded sci-fi epic Robot Jox), the person is pretending to rub their eye with their finger. The fact that they are making steady eye contact with their target is what makes it work. Sort of a “Just between you and me: Fuck you.”

And yeah, “assholes and elbows” is slang for “Get to work!” As with every single idiom in the expanse of the English language, it supposedly dates back to the Royal navy, but take that for what it’s worth.

This thread would make even more sense if the correct movie, Aliens, was referenced in the title.

I think she was actually referring to telemetry from a beacon at the landing site–it seems more important to have info about where you’re going than where you’re coming from.

If anyone is still pondering the pipe: Picture the ideal course for the dropship traveling from the Sulaco to the landing pad. Now imagine a pipe centered on that course, roughly the size of the dropship in diameter. “In the pipe” means you’re holding to the projected course so closely that you’re staying inside that imaginary pipe.

Yeah and the OP’s reply to Cal would have made more sense if she had written “strip joint” instead of “step joint”. What a dumb bitch she is!

could “5x5” possibly be that she was perfectly centered in the corridor?

From what I read, the actress ad libbed this line anyway. Dissecting it much further is not going to make it make more sense.

Obviously she was just quoting from what the Dropship unit in Starcraft says when you click on it.

Depending on the thongs, your asshole may actually be on view. :smiley:

She’s a Buffy fan, and since Faith used that phrase regularly, wanted to seem cool.

What’s funny is that a reasonably-well-known proto-Riot Grrrl band out of LA called themselves **L7 **- the name was from the shape you can make with your two index-and-thumbs to form a square if you think some dude is a loser (an earlier version of holding an L up to your forehead, basically).

So “square” can mean “square, as in a loser” (L7) or "square, as in “all squared up and ready to go…” (5x5) which means you’re cool and have your shit together - the exact opposite…

I’ve always assumed that “assholes and elbows” was derived from the drill sergeant in any boot camp movie yelling while the trainees crawl along under barbed wire and potential incoming fire. That is, if you are crawling low to the ground, the highest things the drill sergeant should see are your elbows and your ass. I’m assuming that assholes was a figurative extension of the latter.