It’s as if one of the dining philosophers happened to glance over at another philosoper’s plate, and the other philosopher, seeing this, screamed meal viewing deadlock! and quickly covered his plate with his hands.
Although I’m only an amateur DBA (and an ex-amateur-DBA at that!), I’ve always been under the impression that databases suffered more from the a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Readers-writers_problemReaders and Writers problem/a. This would seem to fit your starvation problem better than the Dining Philosophers’ Problem, Jeff, as the large number of reads you’re doing are locking out the write; it also mirror’s ratboy666’s comment.