Biohazardmobile winner gets repaired roadster

This Just In ...

March 14, 1997|By DAN RODRICKS

Happy end: The Biohazardmobile is on the road again, and Melissa Costello is one smilin' Biobabe. Her favorite heavy metal band came through. Biohazard's customized 1980 Chevy Malibu, a piece of junk Melissa won in a national contest last year, has been turned into a true road warrior. Melissa can actually turn the ignition and hear the engine start. She can actually put it in drive and feel the earth move under her feet. The Biohazardmobile actually looks pretty cool.

Melissa got some satisfaction, thanks to a Baltimore lawyer -- can you believe it? he wishes to remain anonymous -- who pressed her case.

Background: In 1995, Melissa, who lives in White Marsh with her mom, spotted "The Great Biohazardmobile Giveaway" in Rip magazine. The contest promised the band's official car to the winner of a national drawing. "This glorious 1980 Chevy Malibu classic Biohazardmobile could be yours," the full-page ad announced. "It's fully outfitted 'n' air-conditioned, has a killer stereo and the guest book signed by everyone who's ever dared to enter the auto." Color photographs made the car look as though it were fresh from the custom shop. The midnight finish shined. The flame trim and band insignia were hot orange. There was a loudspeaker attached to the hood. The decorative guitar on the trunk was detailed and lacquered. The interior was clean and adorned with faux zebra and lots of orange shag.

Melissa entered the contest. Melissa won.

But when the car showed up -- on a flat-bed tow truck -- Melissa was instantly Biobummed.

The glossy finish was long gone. So was the hood speaker. So was the stereo. The decorative guitar was gray and weather-blistered. The inside of the car was filthy; Melissa found a razor blade and sexually explicit "fan letters." And the engine wouldn't turn over. When someone gave the battery a jump, the engine ran -- until the water pump leaked.

So Melissa, her mom and a Baltimore attorney squawked (TJI, Feb. 16, 1996).

And -- whaddaya know? -- the band came through. Biohazard has been described as one of the few speed-metal thrash bands with a political and social conscience. And at least one of the Bioboys had a guilty conscience.

So, the band did the right thing by getting the car in running order. The settlement between the band and Melissa Costello is confidential; alas I don't have all the details. But I know this: Baltimore's No. 1 Biobabe is driving the Biohazardmobile, and there's bliss again by the dashboard lights.

Curious cellular conversation

From Joey Aalfitano: "Dan, from time to time you and your newspaper have discussed people who talk on their cellular telephones while operating a motor vehicle. On the Beltway the other day, I think this guy in the lane next to me had one of those '976' numbers, if you know what I mean. He had this strange grin on his face for the longest time and he wasn't talkin' to anybody."

Arrow misses target

I eagerly awaited The Sun's Q&A with Airiana the Human Arrow the other day, but I came out of it quoting Miss Peggy Lee: "Is that all there is?" Man alive, were those answers Airiana provided weak. Plus, no photograph, no personal history. And I still can't get a one-on-one, person-to-person interview. I don't know what's going on here exactly, but I have my suspicions: Ringling Brother's alluring aerialist is not what they say she is. That's what I'll believe until otherwise informed. There, Arrow Person, I dare you to prove your womanhood!

That must hurt

Caller to a local TV station's tax tip segment: "I'd like to know if I can deduct my husband's surgery. He had a devious septum." .... I hear the state Division of Parole and Probation had a little problem the other day: Theft of a personal computer containing certain sensitive information and a link to the Criminal Justice Information System. Ouch. ... Coming Monday: An attempt to break the world record for the largest display of bananas. Some 25,000 pounds are headed for the Metro Food Market in Catonsville Plaza. What a fine way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day -- simulating the ancient Celtic art of banana stacking.

Rowley's returns

Rowley's, the West Baltimore family tavern, reopened Wednesday night, and although the news was strictly by word of mouth, the place was packed. There was Irish music and big band on the stereo and free food for the patrons. Rowley's had closed in December after Thomas A. Rowley died on his 80th birthday. Frances Kessler, Tom's widow, says the place will be open Wednesdays through Saturdays, which is just the way Tom had it. If a traffic light fixed at the roof level on Pratt Street is green, you know Rowley's is open. (Don't go there Monday, despite the green holiday. Ole Tom always refused to open on St. Patrick's Day because, as he put it, "I can't stand the Irish when they're drinking.")

Pub Date: 3/14/97

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