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, July 29, the 210th day of 2014. There are 155 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Col. H.F. Sickless informs us that there will be new organization of troops in this state under the call for more men. 1889 -- 125 years ago: James Normoyle arrived home after graduating from West Point with honors in the class of 1889. He was to report to Fort Brady, Mich., as second lieutenant in the 23rd Infantry. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Austria Hungary declared war on Serbia. Germany and Austria refused an invitation of Sir Edward Grey to join Great Britain at a mediation conference. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Dr. William Mayo, the last of the three famous Mayo brother surgeons, died at the age of 78. 1964 -- 50 years ago: One of the biggest horse shows of the season was held yesterday at Hillandale Arena on Knoxville Road under the sponsorship of the Illowa Horsemen's Club. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Davenport is like a gigantic carnival this weekend with the Bix Arts Fest taking over 12 square blocks of the downtown area. A festive atmosphere prevailed Friday as thousands of people turned out to sample what the Arts Fest has to offer.