Rite Aid is a chain of Drugstores-cum-general stores, quite prevalent in the US of A. The first store opened in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1962 under then name ThrifD Discount Center. They changed their name to "Rite Aid" in 1968 to coincide with their IPO, and by 1972 there were 267 Rite-Aid Locations. They are, as of this writing, the largest drug store chain in the world.


Why shudder?

Well, sit back kiddies and let old Uncle X tell you about his Rite Aid Experience:

Xunker's Rite Aid Experience
Yes, it's completely factual.

It was the fall of 1999. I still didn't have my drivers license back then, so I had to take the public transit everywhere I went. One day , after picking up some parts from a small local computer shop. On the way to the bus stop I was feeling thirsty. I was walking right past a Rite Aid, and so I stopped in to pick myself up a bottle of Welch's Grape Juice. I notice the time is drawing near, so I hastily grab my juice, pay the $1.9-whatever and hoof it to the bus stop.

I missed it.

So, I guess I have to wait 15 minutes for the next one. But I have my J00S3 to keep my company. I rip open the lid and take a nice, huge swig of it. I down about half of the bottle before I notice an odd taste and smell.

Now, this was in the fall, and it was now dark outside, and so I couldn't see the bottle clearly. So I ditch it in my rucksack and wait quietly for my bus. It comes, I get on. I'm beginning to feel not so well.

I get off near my home and begin to trudge up the hill to it, beginning to feel militantly nauseous and dizzy. I manage to hold my guts in until I get home and flop down on the bed, hopping it will pass.

While I'm waiting for the World War III that is going on inside my gut to stop, I look at the bottle. The plastic bottle is, of course, red, like the juice inside it. They probably tint the plastic to make the juice look red'er. Then, near the top of the bottle, I see a line. Below the line, the plastic is a deepish red-purple. Above it, it is clear as a windowpane.


I open the cap. The cap is white on the outside. On the inside is is the same russet as the lower part of the bottle. And there it is: that smell again. Like sauerkraut stuffed in an old sock.

replace the cap and twirl the bottle until I find the "Sell By" Date on the bottle. This was in November 1999, remember. November 14th, 1999 to be precise.

The printing on the bottle read "Sell By February 24, 1996".

My eyes almost exploded. I had just drank half of a bottle of grape juice that was over 2 and one-half years past its "toss out" date. I was surprised my colon hadn't exploded yet. Yet.

I was dragged to the emergency room where I was given a physical and some drugs to defend against Botulism and other food-borne illnesses. They did some tests on the juice, showing traces of fungus the name of which escapes me and send me home with drugs in hand.

When, a few days after I had recovered, I took it up with the store, guess what they told me? They wanted to give me a refund. A REFUND? I had just spend the last 4 days ill in bed and spent well over $500 in Emergency Room Fees and Prescription Charges, and they wanted me to take a swutting REFUND?!?

I eventually, after months of bickering, took it up the the head office, where they "graciously" offered to pay my medical expenses and to an audit of the stock of the store in question. I would have been more of a bitch about it, but I just wanted get it over with.

The best part is that a few weeks after I had settled with them, I learned of a class-action law suit being brought against them for selling expired food products. Over 230 people has gone through the same thing I had. *THEY* settled for 2.3 Million dollars.

Moral? Look before you drink. And grape juice bottles ARE NOT colored red.

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