Plutarch is presently writing short short stories. I don't understand the short story rationale, don't read them by choice. Is this one? I don't know. It's 377 words long which is, sort of, cheating
The pensioners hadn’t much money; he drove them to the Welsh coast, more often to Blackpool, occasionally Whitby. Coming back they sang old-fashioned songs like Lambeth Walk and teased him when he pulled in to service stations. “Does the driver want a wee-wee?” they asked. When the collection box went down the aisle it came back with a scattering of 20 p pieces. But he didn’t mind. With them he was supporting a tradition.
Football fans were noisier and hung their scarves out of the bus windows. They drank lager and their high spirits made it difficult to tell whether their team had won or lost. Occasionally one would be sick and others would use The Sun to wipe it up. Then there’d be a couple of fivers in the box. They didn’t seem to know real tunes: sang parts of pop songs, ad jingles and chants they used during the game. Football didn’t interest him but he liked their enthusiasm.
Kids? He’d always liked kids. They mimicked each other, sometimes cleverly. Others stared out as if seeing the promised land.
It was this lot he hated. Older than pensioners, but the men dressed in suits or proper tweed jackets. The women’s white hair carefully arranged, well-worn rings on their fingers. At six they opened Sainsbury bags-for-life and took out Tupperware boxes. Unpacked tomato sandwiches wrapped in film and held them between thumb and forefinger as they ate. Those without Thermoses drank Malvern water, tipping the bottle into their mouths, never encircling the neck with their lips.
Returning, they rarely talked about what they’d seen. But they did talk, endlessly. About their dogs and cats, restaurants and the perfection of their grandchildren. Some dozed, others asked him to enable the overhead lights so that they could read – often, hardbacks.
He disliked their restraint. As if they were only half alive. He suspected they disapproved of what he liked but would never say so. The collection box revealed single pounds from each of them. They knew all about tipping.