I've been married to Lani for nine interminable years, and the degree to which I despise, from the bottom of my heart, her every annoying syllable, carping over each tiny detail of our unbearable life together, is simply beyond measure.

How could I—indeed, how could anyone—ever put a dollar amount on the ecstatic joy that would come from seeing her cranium explode as a sniper's bullet took her out from, say, the apartment complex across the park from our backyard veranda? How could I quantify the glorious, once-in-a-lifetime satisfaction of seeing her waterlogged body dredged up from the bottom of a nearby river on a special "Missing Wife Update" segment on our local news?

Lani is a living, breathing human being, after all, and to my knowledge, there are no established guidelines on the value of a human life. Are there? I'm talking about an industry-standard listing. Are there appraisers who specialize in such tasks? What do they charge? Sadly, I've discovered after hours of research that none of this is available on the Internet.

How can I express in mere numbers something as profound as my desire to see her dead? Even when she is not with me, I close my eyes and she is there: gagged and bound in the trunk of our Mercedes as it is crushed flat in a junkyard car compactor under cover of night, being dissolved in acid after "accidentally" falling into a vat at the chemical plant, or burning alive in a house fire after being injected with a sedative powerful enough to keep her asleep while the alarms went off all around her.

Is it even possible to quantify something like that in specific terms translatable to a cash payment? And then figure out a way for that cash payment not to be traced back to me?

How much would I pay to find out that she had been strangled by a masked intruder while I was conveniently away on a business trip? $10,000? $50,000? A quarter-million? Even mentioning a specific dollar amount seems to cheapen the sweet release from the shrill naggings that her death would bring. But if someone would just quote me a price, I'd be willing to bargain with him or her until we found a number we were both happy with.

You certainly can't put a price on a job well done. But soon I must face the hard choices: Do I start liquidating assets in order to make an all-cash payment in nonsequential bills in a dark, vacant underground parking garage? Or would a personal check be accepted?

My wife—God curse her soul—has outlived her gracious welcome on this planet. The time has come to put all of her deeds, bad and worse, in the grand balance, punch in a per-unit cost, and arrive at a just, fair price for someone to push her off the roof of our condomimium and make it look like suicide.

But at this stage, I simply need to come up with some sort of ballpark figure.