Schomp Family History, by Blythe Roberson

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The Schomp family is the most affluent of the Boston Brahmins. The Cushings? Peasants. The Parkmans? Hippie street dwellers. The Lawrences? Don’t get distracted, we’re talking about the Schomps.

It all started in 1640 when John Schomp woke up with a light bulb over his head: get a bunch of free land in America and make cash. First he put the whole light bulb invention in a time capsule — you’re welcome, future. Next he created an Italian alter ego, so no one would figure out he moved to the colonies and steal his idea. Decades later people figured out “Giovanni Schompero” was just a pumpkin and some pillows under a blanket the entire time. An emergency election had to be held to fill his seat in Parliament.

Fast forward to Schomp in the United States, though no one knew it would eventually be a country at the time. No one other than the Schomps, that is. But they were sitting on that information and in the meantime started a secret shipping trade. The “secret” component of most shipping companies was usually illegal slaves and illegal goods, but the Schomp kids were completely open about shipping opium and rum and counterfeit Virginian currency—their secret cargo was codfish. In fact, a famous phrase was invented when a confused customs official told the Schomps, “something smells fishy.”

At society parties post-Revolution, the Forbes would only talk to the Schomps, and the Schomps would answer by mumbling something and walking away.

Then the War of 1812 happened and the Schomps bought bonds on both sides. This was a particular spit in the face to General Andrew Jackson. Jackson and George Schomp were worst enemies—though Jackson lived his entire life thinking they were best friends. Schomp’d!

The Schomp family was so unaffected by the Great Depression that they had no idea what people were talking about when it was referred to. When the Schomps watched The Grapes of Wrath on one of their two home movie theaters, they marveled at the film’s surrealism.

In 2009 the Schomp family put all their money in a capsule and shot it into outer space just for the challenge, and by 2011 they were once again ranked the wealthiest family in the world by Forbes . When he heard of their Forbes ranking, patriarch Andrew Schomp mumbled and walked out of the room.

Blythe Roberson is a writer and improviser living in New York. Her Twitter handle/how she explains her name to people is @blythelikehappy.

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