It looks like they’re hooked.

Oh, sure – they only experimented at first. There was the suit against Victoria’s Secret for the Metallica lipstick early this year. But that was small-time stuff.

Then came Napster. The good stuff. The exhilaration, the rush of attention that came from threatening to sue the pants off hundreds of thousands of the band’s fans and a few major universities for good measure.

Now, even that’s not enough for these guys.

They’d gone months without making the music press blotter with word of a lawsuit relapse.

But it doesn’t take much – a simple cease and desist letter is sometimes all that’s needed to get that monkey climbing your back again.

Like the letter Metallica just sent to furniture maker Kim Hodges of Waco, Texas.

Hodges got a certified letter from one of the band’s lawyers asking him to change the name of his business, Metallika.

Hodges said that he won’t fight the band in court and that he is somewhat amused that Metallica, a group he likes, would even bother to threaten a “piddling” furniture company.

Ha. Just try downloading “Enter Sandman” off Napster if you think you have troubles, buster.

Jill Petrini, an attorney for the band, said, “When we find out about things like this, we actively protect the band’s trademark rights. It’s not like we’re trying to protect a name commonly used, like United. It’s a unique name.”

Oh, sure. It’s so unique it couldn’t possibly happen again. That’s what every addict says.

Until, that is, they stumble on another big score – like upscale perfume manufacturer Guerlain Inc. and the equally swanky Neiman-Marcus and Bergdorf-Goodman department store chains.

Metallica’s lawyers have fallen off the copyright-infringement wagon again, filing suit December 8 in Los Angeles against the three companies alleging they have infringed on and diluted the rock band’s trademarked name by creating and marketing a “Metallica” perfume.

The suit seeks a withdrawal of the Metallica fragrance from the market, along with the usual unspecified damages.

This time, you know they have got to be jonesing big-time. Infringing on Metallica with a fragrance? Eau de Hetfield, perhaps?

Is it really that easy to mistake a vanilla-scented top note for the aroma of the singer/guitarist after a particularly energetic show?

We think not.

So let this be a lesson for the youth of America. Beware of suits and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.