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Problem with slow localhost connections

I don't know if this is an LDAP problem or a kernel/networking
problem, but -- I am running OpenLDAP 2.0.23 on RedHat Linux 7.3,
kernel 2.4.18-17.7.x

I have suddenly started seeing delays of up to 10 seconds when doing
an ldapsearch on localhost, after being up and running for over two
weeks with no problems at all.  It is intermittent, but more often
than not.  The activity in the slapd log shows that the delay appears
to be outside of ldap, by which I mean that once the connection is
logged everything happens very quickly.  Also watching netstat I don't
see the localhost ldap connection for some seconds when this happens.

In one case ran tcpdump on the lo interface and saw no activity for
apoximately 6 seconds after I initiated the ldapsearch command.

I have not ever seen this behavior using other network interfaces
(e.g. eth0).

All this leads me to belive I have a networking bug related to
localhost but I thought I would post it in case anyone else has run
into this and can confirm or suggest other things I can look at.