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It was thus said that the Great Mike Pall once stated:
> The #1 question is now: why is the GC stuck? Because usually every
> string allocation is accompanied with a GC check. And once the
> threshold is reached, the GC is driven forward and should quickly
> get out of the sweepstring phase.
> I think luaX_newstring() in llex.c must be the culprit. You can
> try to add a GC check just before the 'return ts' at line 123:
>   luaC_checkGC(L);
> If this solves the problem, then you've found a bug in Lua.
> Congratulations -- it doesn't happen that often. :-)

  I tried that, and nope.  Still takes six minutes.  

  -spc (And I'd like to thank you for your help so far 8-)