The thing that caused the problem was -- "Edit each line in selection." I was able to edit the file without any problem by just doing a search and replace. I don't know specifically how edit each line in selection works, but I suspect that it involves quite a few Allocs, Like one for each line, possibly quite a few more for each line. I was just putting out a warning that you shouldn't edit the entire file with "Edit each line in selection". It could have just been my computer, but I suspect that I was abusing this wonderful feature into something Allan didn't imagine it to be used to do, because as an expert in line management he would never have gone down the path I did. I was just appending ",END_NOTE" to each line.
This happened on a Dual Xeon Core 2 Duo Mac Pro with 1GB of ram ( inherited from our graphics guy who doesn't want to learn FCP).