The song begins to blare from a wedding DJ's speakers.
There is a scramble, mainly to see whose phone camera is locked and loaded. You want to know who will be catching you making a fool of yourself.
Finally, you bust out a big "Who cares?'' and go for it.
If you are lucky, an empty bottle is available to sing into, and a white tablecloth is at the ready for wrapping toga-style about your waist and shoulders. Thank goodness the Maui Jim sunglasses never leave your side.
Dressed the part, you start to sing -- loudly and poorly -- into the empty bottle.
"Louie, Lou-ieeee. Oh, no, me gotta go.'' For the four minutes the song lasts, you're reliving the movie "Animal House." You love it, and you couldn't care less if anyone else loves it.
We all have one song that makes us stop and sing -- and sometimes dance. Or, as supermodel Brooklyn Decker puts it in the movie "Just Go With It," we all have "my jam.''
For me, it's "Louie, Louie,'' written in 1955 by Richard Berry and made famous by the Kingsmen. Since the day three decades ago when I first saw the movie "Animal House," "Louie, Louie'' has been locked in my brain.
While "Louie, Louie'' will send me in search of a fake mic, a possible toga and dark sunglasses, I also stop and sing whenever I hear Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places.'' And here's a tip: If you want to embarrass any 10-year-old riding in your car, power up your iPod and sing along with good ol' Garth.
My third stop-drop-and-sing song is "Shout'' by Otis Day and the Knights (written by the Isley Brothers), also from "Animal House." I do, however, refuse to drop to the ground and do the worm as they did in the movie. Dry cleaning costs too much.
There are other songs I will stop and sing along with -- "Sweet Caroline" comes to mind -- whether I know the lyrics or fake the words as so many of us do. But I only dance and sing to "Louie, Louie'' and "Shout.''
Laugh if you will, but it beats the hand-in-hand skipping routine to "Come on Eileen,'' by Dexys Midnight Runners, performed by my pals Jamie, a 5-foot-10-inch, 285-pound former college lineman, and Ky, once a Marine, always a Marine, who is 6-feet-5 and close to 250 pounds. It is memorable each time it happens, and it has happened a lot in the 20 years I have known both of them.
I know there is a song for everyone, one that will make make even the stuffiest of shirts kick up his or her heels. What's yours? Share it with me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and down the road a stretch, I will list some of the favorites.
And don't be shy. If your "jam'' (not my word) is played anywhere, stop, drop and rock. Grab your fake mic and let it ride.
Columnist John Marx can be reached at 309-757-8388 or email@example.com.
Today is Sunday, Dec. 8, the 342nd day of 2013. There are 23 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: For the whole of last week we have been favored with the most delightful Indian summer weather, and mercury ranging from 40 to 65 above zero. The river is entirely clear of ice and looks as mild and soft as summer. 1888 -- 125 years ago: Albert Johnson was appointed a deputy in the circuit clerk's office. 1913 -- 100 years ago: 800 or more tons of earth in six landslides covered 38th Street for a distance of 200 feet near 7th Avenue and destroyed much property. 1938 -- 75 years ago: One of the 350-foot towers, which with a new transmitter will increase the power of WHBF to 1,000 watts day and night, has been completed on a 20-acre tract at 23rd Avenue and 51st Street, Moline. 1963 -- 50 years ago: In cooperation with The Associated Press, The Argus presents to its readers a complete, beginning-to-end account of one of the most tragic and dreadful chapters in American history, the assassination of President Kennedy, available in book form, and now in preparation. The book is entitled "The Torch is Passed." 1988 -- 25 years ago: Deere & Co. stockholders received good news of a boost in their quarterly dividends from 20 to 30 cents per share of common stock. The dividend, made to stockholders of record on Dec. 30, will be payable on Feb. 1, 1989.