Turns out this is a bug. I saw tons of help pointing in other directions, but the end problem was that apache keeps forgetting to shut down one of its processes.
If your apache has more than one server (ie, port 80 and 442), etc/init.d/apache2 reload fails to close one of them.
So.. try running a pgrep apache and see how many processes show up!
It still hasn’t been fixed for mod_python for gutsy, so I’m upgrading to hardy.