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 Tuesday, Sept. 16, the 259th day of 2014. There are 106 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: A fine lumber mill is on the course of erection at Andalusia. A flouring mill at that location is doing a fine business. 1889 — 125 years ago: J.B. Lidders, past captain of Beardsley Camp, Sons of Veterans, returned from Paterson, N.Y., where he attended the National Sons of Veterans encampments. 1914 — 100 years ago: President Wilson announced that he had received from the imperial chancellor of Germany a noncommittal reply to his inquiry into a report that the emperor was willing to discuss terms of peace. 1939 — 75 years ago: Delegates at the Illinois Conference of the Methodist Church in Springfield voted to raise the minimum pay of ministers so that every pastor would get at least $1,000 annually. 1964 — 50 years ago: An audience of more than 2,600 persons jammed into the Davenport RKO Orpheum theater with a shoe horn feasted on a Miller-Diller evening that was a killer night. Phyllis Diller sent the audience with her offbeat humor. And send them she did! It was Miss Diller's third appearance in the Quad-Cities area. 1989 — 25 years ago: A few years ago, a vacant lot on 7th Avenue and 14th Street in Rock Island was a community nuisance. Weeds grew as high 18 inches. Today, the lot has a new face, thanks to Michael and Sheila Rind and other neighbors who helped them turn it into a park three weeks ago.